Reading the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) today, the love of the father is overwhelmingly tangible. Both sons demonstrated failure — the kinds of abject failures that emanate from deep within a heart that is yet to truly know the love of the father. One son sought to fill the inner void of his brokenness by gratifying his every desire — the other, by seeking approval for his performance and perfection. In both situations, the father went out to his son to invite and welcome and reconcile — to pursue as only love can pursue.
So, do you find yourself feeling like a failure lately? Job isn’t what you expected or hoped for? Jealous of others apparent success? Kids pushing you to the edge? Marriage is breaking you? Or, you know you have really screwed things up … and the consequences are becoming unbearably painful. Here this from Rebecca Van Noord: “Often, when we focus too much on our own failures, we don’t reach the point where grace changes us.”
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt,
yonder on Calvary’s mount out-poured,
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide,
what can avail to wash it away!
Look! there is flowing a crimson tide;
whiter than snow you may be today.
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
freely bestowed on all who believe;
you that are longing to see his face,
will you this moment his grace receive?
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin.
There is no better news than this … the God Who is Love pursues failures like you and me! The Almighty God of all creation is pursuing us with Holy Love — the perfect and sincere and everlasting Love that we can only ever comprehend in knowing Him as our heavenly Father.
Just prior to telling of the Prodigal Son, Jesus gives two examples (Luke 15:3-7, 8-10) of loss and redemption and ends both of them with the proclamation that there is rejoicing in Heaven over even one sinner who repents.
So, will you be the son or daughter who wallows in your failure or perhaps sulks about the joy of others? Or will you repent and receive by grace the indescribable love and unspeakable joy of God the Father?
Yep, that’s Him … right behind you, still pursuing you, longing for you to know Him … longing to tell the angels that it’s time to rejoice again in Heaven.