The cacti were covered with flowers, a sight not often seen by five year old boy from the south. “Don’t touch the cactus,” his mother told him as he reached out to pick the flower. “It will hurt you,” she went on to explain.
But as often happens with small children, the mother had no sooner turned her back for a brief moment before she heard a young, panic-stricken cry. Turning around, she saw that the child had done exactly what she had just told him not to do. He was now running toward her with his index finger stuck high in the air while squeezing it with the other hand. “It hurts, mommy!” he cried. “It hurts!”
Quickly the loving mother picked the child up in her arms, “That’s why I told you not to touch it. Here, let’s see. Don’t cry. Mommy will take the prickly needle out of your hand.”
Can a mother have not compassion on her child? It’s just not possible, no matter what he does. (See Isaiah 49:15) Even in his disobedience, a mother’s first concern is for the welfare of the one she birthed. Nothing can ever change that.
“I will never forsake you,” promises the God who gave birth to you. (See Hebrews 13:5) Nothing you have ever done or ever will do can cause God to abandon you. He loves you. He loves you. That fact will never change.
The first thing that Adam and Eve did after they sinned was that they hid from God. (See Genesis 3:9-10) Sin has caused unenlightened man to do that ever since, but that isn’t to be the response of the Christian when he sins.
Like the small child with the prickly needle in his finger, our sins should drive us toward God, not away. Your sins don’t define who you are. They may attach themselves to you when you disobey, but they aren’t you.
So, when you’ve sinned, don’t run and hide. Instead run toward God like a small child runs to his mother. Hold up your sin for God to see and cry out, “It hurts! It hurts!” God won’t scold you for your disobedience. You won’t be given a lecture about your foolish behavior.
Instead, you will be held and gently set free from the pain you’ve brought on yourself. Then you’ll be lovingly hugged and gently told, “Now, go play. And remember not to touch the cactus.” (See John 8:11)