Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
Luke 17: 20 (NIV)
It is one of the most dramatic and hope-filled lines in all of scripture.
Carefully woven within Christ’s parable of the “Prodigal (or Lost) Son”, it is one of the clearest and most accurate verses depicting the nature and grace of the God of the universe—our Creator.
A good story that seems so far from anything that could ever be a part of our lives; or ever happen to us. It’s a picture of a God Who runs to us, Who throws His arms around us and kisses us. Crazy right?
Even if we were able to envision the idea of God running, versus our usual images of a God sitting, standing, walking amongst the billowy clouds of heaven which our mind’s eye paints for us—God running to us is another leap of faith altogether.
Running to me? Or to you?
Running to any of us? Really?
But the answer is—yes! Just like to that younger son. And just like that younger son, we don’t deserve it, we didn’t do anything for it, and we can’t do anything for it.
It’s there, regardless, for you and for me. God’s love, grace, forgiveness and peace—lifting us up when we are down, picking us up when we fall or fail, encouraging us when we doubt, healing us, affirming us, and throwing us back into life.
Listen to a few words of a song written about this story of the Prodigal Son:
“Almighty God, The Great I Am, Immovable Rock,
Omnipotent, Powerful, Awesome Lord.
Victorious Warrior, Commanding King of Kings,
Mighty Conqueror…and the only time…I ever saw him run,
Was when…He ran to me,
He took me in His arms, held my head to His chest,
Said ‘My son’s come home again!’
Lifted my face, wiped the tears from my eyes,
With forgiveness in His voice He said ‘Son, do you know I still love you?’
He caught me by surprise—When God ran…to me.”
There it was, just as it is today—God running to us. It was hard for me to accept early on in my walk with God—because of my earlier relationship with my father. Hard for many of us men to accept sometimes—a love like that, from a God who runs to us just like that father ran to his son—when our own father’s love is at times a bit distant, dependent upon merit, on earning it.
But—it’s true—God’s love is there for us—period!
And we celebrated once again God’s demonstration of that love when we celebrated the Christmas season and the birth of His Son. God coming to us, sending His son to us because He loves us. Accept it. Move on with it. Find healing, affirmation for who you are, and peace and power in God running to us to love us.
But then what? So—what will we do now, knowing how much He loves us?
How about this—be just like that father in the story—for others.
Show that love of God for you and me—to others, to everyone around us—family, friends, team, coaches, players, people on the street we meet, those who need us who we don’t see but we know we should help.
God ran to us. So what! What will we do with that love of God running to us, and loving us unconditionally?
I would guess that God is saying to us—to go and love others, just like that, to do all you can do to change their lives for the better.
Just a thought.
In His Name—Scott