Robert and the egg

Boys and girls, did you know that God never stops loving you even when you're being naughty? Or when you're cranky and throwing a fit? Or even when you've done something wrong?

Well He does, and it's called 'unconditional love.' It's a free gift. You can't earn it, you don't deserve it and you can't wear it out!

Now just in case you're getting the funny idea that means you can be as bad as you want to and get away with it, forget it! God loves you and accepts you just as you are, because Jesus died for you. But He loves you far too much to let you stay that way. (Romans 6:1-2)

Let me tell you about Robert. He was my friend, Jennifer's annoying little four year old brother. Oh, we loved him, we really did, but by golly he drove us mad! If ever there was mischief to get into, Robert was right there in the middle of it! And because we loved him, we managed to get him out of it most of the time.

Robert had a love of stirring up trouble in bull-ant's nests. (Please don't copy!) He'd take a long stick and he'd poke it down into the nest and start twirling it about. Naturally the ants didn't like it one little bit and they would climb up the stick and bite him! Robert never seemed to learn not to do it, no matter how many bites he got.

Then of course there were the hens. Robert loved to collect the eggs from them. The trouble was he was never prepared to wait until the hen had actually finished laying the egg. He'd stick his little hand right under the poor hen as soon as she sat on the nest! And the many hen pecks to his fingers didn't seem to deter him either.

One day Robert came inside with a grin on his face and two eggs in his grubby little hands. Jennifer and I were at my place preparing to bake a cake, so we'd sent him off to get us an egg or two from the hen-house. After thanking him and stuffing a biscuit in his mouth, we set about our baking.

As I broke one of the eggs into the bowl, a half formed chicken fell with a plop into the mixture! Robert was out the door and off home calling out, Mum! Mum! before we could get to him! From then on my dad used to mark the broody hen's eggs with an indelible pencil so that kind of mistake wouldn't happen again.

One time when Jennifer and I rode our bikes out to her family's farm, Robert was there with his father. They'd come in the Ute. We were there to help bag the wheat.

We three children climbed up the ladder and stepped into the silo. Jennifer and I immediately sank to our waists in the grain, but Robert sank nearly out of sight! Thankfully we grabbed him before he smothered and holding him up between us we yelled out to his father to throw us up a Hessian bag for him to sit on. We didn't want him sinking again, the wheat was like quick-sand.

Then while Jennifer and I worked at pushing the wheat through the shute so her father could bag it, Robert became bored and pulled off one of his shoes and threw it right into the middle of the wheat where it quickly disappeared into the grain.

Once again we called out to his father, this time to ask him to retrieve Robert's shoe as it had gone out the shute with the wheat and into the bag. Jennifer and I got the giggles then and we wondered what would have happened if someone was baking a cake one day and a shoe or part of a shoe was in the flour!

Robert ran foul of a rather bad-tempered goanna when we climbed out of the silo. I think he'd been teasing it, because he ran towards Jennifer and me holding a large stick in his hand and screaming his head off, the hissing monster in hot pursuit.

Now a bite from a goanna is not deadly, but it is rather painful. So as Robert ran past us, we grabbed him and chased the goanna off with the stick, while keeping a good distance away from it ourselves. The goanna lumbered off, but not before it turned around and shot us a, "I'll remember you!" look, from its little beady black reptilian eyes, then flicked its long tongue in and out several times, just to drive the point home.

Boys and girls, if God could love Robert unconditionally, then He surely loves you that way too! So say to yourself over and over again, 'God loves me! God loves me! God loves me!' Until it finally sinks in and you really, truly know that God loves you!