Tuesday, June 03, 2014

A Father’s Love

{Based on a post I originally wrote before restarting the blog.}

Luke 15:11-20

The Bible describes God as our Heavenly Father. As our creator it must have been painful to watch as his entire creation fell away into the bonds of sin. But instead of giving up, God made a way for fallen man to be restored to the family. How he must rejoice when we return home. But does the rejoicing stop in the front yard?

I remember a few years ago when my oldest played in his first soccer game. At that age there was no real strategy, just children running back and forth kicking a ball. The game could go from serious competition to serious butterfly watching at a moment’s notice. When that first game started I found myself hyperventilating over the excitement of my boy being out on the field. It did not matter how well he played, I was proud of him for trying. Is my love for my boys based on them achieving goals? No, I love them both unconditionally. But that does not keep me from shouting for joy when either of them achieves a milestone.

The principle of unconditional love is one I learned from God who loves us just as we are. He sent his Son to die on a cross in the ultimate expression of love, opening the door to reconciliation with him. But does unconditional love keep him from enjoying our achievements? I do not think it is far fetched to imagine him rejoicing each time one of his children takes a successful step forward along his/her path.

The God of the Bible shares our burdens, having come down from his throne to walk with his people. And while our faith pleases him, I believe he rejoices as we achieve the goals for which we were created. He has called his family together in order to enjoy deep personal relationships with all of his children. He loves us as we are and (in my experience) enjoys taking part in our lives as we succeed and/or fail daily.

I suspect those children who are lost break God’s heart just as losing Joseph broke Jacob’s (Genesis 37:28-34). The Gospel is the call to come home to our Father who waits with open arms. Will you answer the call or will you stand off in the distance, separated from the One who created you?

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