I have been working with youth legitimately for some 4 years now, and I can tell you that I have had some of the most profound insights come from interactions with them. The deepest, most incredibly enlightening aspect of my work with young people is how they so well mirror my own relationship with God.
At times, young people want absolutely nothing to do with me. They don't want to hear what I have to say nor participate in any activity that I bring to them. I can't really blame them, I'm a terrible 'pastor' or 'teacher' but I hope that I can truly affect their lives in the long term. Here are a few examples:
1] I saw my sunday school student leaving my class, not asking to use the washroom, and later waving to me as he made his way to the park, not having taken part in any bit of the class. What a picture of how we look to God when we sin. We know where we are supposed to be, and we really do not want to be there. Knowing all that we do of Him, and yet still waving goodbye as we go and 'play'. What is more amazing is that this child was actually doing well just last week, participating and even helping out after class. Lesson, well this walk with God has its close moments and its distant ones. Should I punish him? Definitely. Is he still me student? Of course.
2] I am a God-Father. I am absolutely in love with these two amazing baby girls. They could each have a lung and a kidney each if they needed, anything at all. I am in shambles thinking how far away from them I would be while on Mission, and how much of a failed Ninong that would be. Enough mush, so one day one of them got really clingy. Not the parents, not even the baby slaying Lolo/Grandfather would do, only I the Ninong (sorry, it is sort of wrong that I get happy from that but w/e) Let me just say that at this moment, in this position, I have the closest idea of what fatherhood is like. To be provider and protector, willing to lay life down for their betterment, to see nothing but precious child when I see them and to be filled with pure joy when they recognize me, how could that not be a vision of God's affection for His kids? Furthermore, I honestly get a little jealous myself when others get their attention or have them at all (ok I'm a big losery hater for that, but I am speaking about people who don't have some immediate (most likely blood-tie) to them) I could only imagine how their father feels seeing his child seek after anything other than him and his love for them. Imagine how it would feel when either one would come to love some dude and he would actually become 3rd place or less [God is 1st place of course] I am not their father and I can already understand the jealousy, the hurt, the desire for them to come back. Is this not what God sees in us when we fall in love with sin? When we give ourselves over to anything other than Him and what He would provide, is it any surprise that He would get jealous? He is our Father.
In short, look at how children are and you will most likely grasp what God sees when He looks at us. In our dealing with God, don't we most often seek other things and what they offer us? Don't we often look back at God one moment, then look to whatever our heart's desire is the next? Maybe we can take a look at the simplicity of our human relationships, and actually get an image of how God might be reacting to us. Pick up your Bible and read it through, then maybe things will make sense.
Keep Loving Jesus!