“So he got up and returned to his father. The father looked off in the distance and saw the young man returning. He felt compassion for his son and ran out to him, enfolded him in an embrace, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 (VOICE)
“Sissy Patrol is ON THE ROLL!” they chanted, as they skipped happily down the sidewalk in front of us.
Arm-in-arm, smiling through sisterhood in these early childhood years, I hope they will always feel this love for each other. I sure do pray for it. After we got married, my husband and I couldn’t wait to have kids, and our sweet notion of “let’s have them close together so they can be friends,” actually came true.
They are my prodigal story, in a way. My whole little family is. I royally messed up my first marriage, and jump-started the second. Yet, here we were …a big blessed mess. When I look at my two daughters, I understand the Father’s enfolding embrace, and today’s verse, a little better. The reality of Jesus’ grace, and how it washes over me daily to erase the pain and the shame of the past, is leveling.
This type of love is not possible outside of the love of Jesus. Forgiveness, Himself, is the main miracle.
We all come back to our Father through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The compassion of the father’s heart for his son in today’s Scripture trumped any mistake or offense. And He feels that way about us. Jesus. He prays for us. His outstretched hand pull us up into the Father’s enfolding embrace …again …and again …and again.
The sinful nature of our humanity is the toughest thing to accept about ourselves. The fact that we will always screw it up …never be able to honestly say, never again. That’s hard to come to terms with. But when we get in the habit of confessing and repenting, His enfolding embrace starts to squeeze the hard bits of our hearts into a platform of witness.
Father, Praise You for Jesus. Thank You for parables that help us understand just how great and how deep and how wide your love is for us. Please forgive us for packing guilt upon our shoulders instead of confessing and repenting to You. Guide us, and strengthen our will to grow and walk with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
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