Library Fines


I went to our town library to open up an account. The librarian was surprised that I didn’t already have an account and when I admitted that it had been years since I’d checked out a book she insisted on looking me up by my maiden name. Sure enough, my old account from high school was still in the system… And I had fines! I was sure someone had identity thefted me since I barely set foot in the library but the record showed the last book check out… It was from 1998! That’s right, 13 years prior to my current visit. When I asked the librarian how they had kept track of the fines for all these years she responded, “Oh we’re serious about getting our money!” Needless to say, I wrote out a check.

If I am honest with myself, I often see God like the library. I know He has incredible resources that He wants to share with me, and yet I think He is keeping track of all my fines, my irresponsibilities from times gone by. I feel like He will withhold His amazing resources from me until I settle my dues. While I know this is not true in my head, my heart has trouble accepting that he will just love me as I am. This verse in Hosea has helped me see God’s heart:

“I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD. (KJV 2:19-20)

Whether I am in righteousness (right standing with God) or in judgment (when He must exercise discipline in my life) God loves me and betroths himself to me! When I understand His love and when I am in need of His mercy… Even then His love is constant. In the faithfulness of the day to day, He teaches me who He is. He vows a covenant with us that is so much more than, “til death do us part” because Death is swallowed up in His presence.

I still have trouble wrapping my mind around this unconditional love. But God just keeps telling me, “Amber, put the checkbook away… I already payed your fines. Not because I had to, but because I love you.” My objection brings out the librarian in God as He quiets my protests with a simple, “Shhh”.


3 responses to “Library Fines

  1. Even worse when you feel like you have to settle the account when someone else ran up the fines. ID theft, ha! Glad that wasn’t the case here 😉 😉

  2. Amber…awesome. I truly love this analogy. (Not not just because I was kicked out of the library for 15 years!)
    So glad we serve a loving, forgiving and “paid in full” God. Wow. That’s amazing.

  3. Now that thr library is in this analogy with God… Maybe I will own up to my actual fines, too! 🙂 But this was really good, Amber. It makes me feel like I’m in chapel again 🙂

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