Rebecca peered out her bedroom window, watching all the other children playing in the snow. How she wished she could play with them!
"Now, Rebecca," she remembered her father telling her that morning. "You can't play in the snow today." "Why not, Father?" Rebecca had asked. Every day, the neighborhood children would gather in the park just behind Rebecca's house. "Just trust me, Rebecca. It's not what's best for you today," her father had replied.
At the time, Rebecca had responded by giving her father a kiss on the cheek and assuring him that she would stay inside and read. But now she was having second thoughts.
It was simply beautiful outside, she thought to herself. And that was true: the sun was shining brilliantly, the pure white snow was packed just right for making snowmen and going sleigh riding. Why wouldn't her father let her go and play? Why should she miss out on all the fun?
Just then a snowball exploded just outside her window. Rebecca decided she couldn't stand it any longer. She simply had to go and join the other children at play!
Leaving her book on the table, Rebecca slipped down the stairs and outside to join in the fun. She tried to tell herself she was having a good time, but all the while her heart felt uncomfortable. She kept looking this way and that, fearful least her father should see her.
After a few hours, Rebecca finally said her goodbyes and headed back towards her house. She wanted to be safely lodged in her room before her father came home from work.
She was so intent on getting to her room as quickly as possible, that she didn't see the mitten someone had left on the stairs until her foot slipped. The next thing she knew, she had fallen several steps down. To her horror, she noticed that she had hit her father's favorite picture when she fell. It was the last picture taken of her mom, before she died. A huge gash ran along the front of the picture.
Normally, Rebecca would have hurried immediately to her father after such a fall, so he could doctor her up and make her feel better. But not this time. How could she face her father now? She had disobeyed him and ruined her mother's picture. Biting her lips to keep from crying out loud, Rebecca grabbed the ruined picture and hobbled to her room.
For the remainder of the day, she lay crying in agony. Her body ached from the bruises she received in her fall. But, somehow her heart -ah, that ached worse of all! She felt certain that her father would no longer love her. She had messed up in the past, but surely this time she had gone to far! He would probably never want to speak to her again. How could he still love her?
She sobbed uncontrollably into her pillow. She had always been "daddy's little girl." Especially, since her mom passed away. She and her father would play and study her school work together. They had laughed and cried together, but not now. No, she felt certain all those wonderful times were over.
Who knows how long she would have stayed in her room, had her nanny not come in to check on her. Rebecca's nanny had a way about her of finding out exactly what was wrong and offering solid, wise counsel. And, tonight was no exception.
"Rebecca dear," she said firmly, but gently. "You've been crying, but I suspect those tears are more for you then your father. You must stop now and go to your father with the broken picture in your hand and tell him everything."
"Oh, but I can't! I'm not worthy of his love!" Rebecca sobbed. Her nanny sighed patiently. "You were no more worthy of it yesterday than today, child. Your father loves you because you're his daughter, not because of anything you do or don't do. Hasn't he told you everyday since you were just a little tyke, I love you? Do you really think his love is dependent on you?"
"But, I broke mama's last picture." Her nanny quickly replied, "Do you doubt his words to you? Doubt his word... that was an angle Rebecca had never thought of before. Maybe she should go to her father... yes, she must go see him, for if she didn't, she would never be able to rest again.
So, still shaking and trembling with fear, Rebecca limped down the hall to the living room. She paused at the doorway. Her father was sitting in his favorite chair, just like he did every night.
He looked up when she entered and a smile radiating with love illuminated his face. "Ah, you've come at last! I've been waiting so long for you. Come, sit here on my lap." As he spoke to Rebecca, he opened his arms widely.
Rebecca couldn't stand it. "Oh, you don't understand, Father! You can't love me anymore. I've disobeyed you, then Rebecca held up the picture of her mother for her father to see.
"Oh, I know Rebecca, more than you think. I watched as you went outside to play and I watched you fall and hit the picture frame. I saw it all, Rebecca."
"You did? Rebecca was flabbergasted. "But... but weren't you at work?" Her father shook his head. "Rebecca, I took the day off... just so I could spend some special time with you. That's why I told you not to go outside to play. I went to get ready for our day out... but when I returned you were not in your room.
"Rebecca, my little girl... I watched as you played with your friends. You seemed to be having such a good time that I did not want to interrupt it. Ever since I saw you fall, I've been longing for you to come to me, so that I could bandage your wounds and help you."
Rebecca could hardly believe her ears. Her father had planned to spend the entire afternoon with her... and she had missed it. Oh, what foolishness! Yet her father knew it all... and loved her anyway. How could this be? "But father, how can you love me now? I've disobeyed you and I've broken your favorite picture of mama?"
Rebecca's father smiled a smile she would never forget. "Rebecca dear, I loved you before you were even born. You are my daughter and I will always love you! Even thought your actions will result in consequences you could have avoided... nothing, nothing at all can ever separate you from my love. Now, won't you come and let me help you with those bumps and bruises?"
Sounds like a funny little story... however, so many of us are like Rebecca. We go to our secret places when we've sinned and try to hide from our heavenly father.
But, think about this, God never hesitated to put everything on the line for us. He lovingly embraced us when we were in our sinful condition and then He exposed himself to the worst of the worst... by sending his only son to die for us.
Do you honestly think that anything or anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Jesus' love for us? No Way!!! Not troubles, not hard times, not hatred or backstabbing, not hunger or homelessness, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture!
Nothing, absolutely nothing can withhold the love of Jesus from us! Nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable - absolutely nothing can get between my Lord and I!!
So, come out of your hiding and get to your heavenly Father!! Come quickly, run to him... for his arms are wide open and He is waiting... just for you!!