I remember a story told by Dwight Edwards in his book Revolution Within. He said to imagine that you are at the zoo in the farm animal pavilion. You reach over to pet a soft wooly lamb, and it looks up at you and licks your hand. “Oh how nice,” you think.
As you leave, though, you walk down the path, and you hear someone frantically scream, “Look Out!” What you soon discover is the largest, most terrifying lion you have ever seen has just escaped. Not only that, but he’s coming your way. You see him getting closer, and you soon realize that you’re his next meal. You try to run for it, but there is no escape. With one bounding leap he lands on your back, drags you to the ground, opens his fierce jaws displaying his razor sharp teeth … and licks you.
Which lick would mean more? The lion or the lamb? The answer is obvious. Those who have felt the terror of standing on death row can attest to the overwhelming flood of freedom and release they felt when their pardon was granted. God’s grace is that profound. Our Father has the capacity and right to rip us apart for our rebellion and independent living, but He tenderly heals and forgives. The death sentence we justly deserved was carried out on his Son instead.
It is important to see the lamb-like qualities of our Father. Yet those who dance most freely at the thought of His grace, are those who never forget the trembling they felt while standing before a holy God owing an impossible debt.