Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I was watching a video of another soldier's homecoming the other day. One of a dad surprising his daughter at her school. I've seen many of these and they never get old. I love it. I love the welcoming of someone who has been away for a long time, because their presence has been waited for.

This last video had me thinking, though. I imagined God waiting for us in the same manner. I pictured Him waiting for me. In every single one of these videos, the returned doesn't have to go far... The person waiting for them sees them, and runs to them. They run to them. Can you just imagine feeling that kind of welcome? Just like in the story of the prodigal son. The father sees his son returning and runs to him. Doesn't wait for him to come, he sees him and runs to him.And he embraces him in all the dirt and filth and mess that he's covered in, and welcomes him back home. I imagine many tears were flowing.

What I think we don't see in this story, is the prodigal only returns as a very very last resort when he has lost everything. In his riches, he partied and was irresponsible. Then famine hit just when he lost everything.

I happen to chase a lot of things that don't fulfill me the way Jesus does. I chase things that I put before him, and I make time and effort for those things. The person who gave His life for me is also the same person that I put at the bottom of my relationship list. But still, He sees me returning and runs to me. And He embraces me in such a welcome that He calls all the best out for me. For me, of all people.

When you're at your worst and think that you can't be taken back.... watch those surprise homecoming videos... and you will see how God feels when you come to Him. Even though He knows the exact second of your arrival, the welcome stays the same.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Just the other day, I was reading a book, and I started thinking about why I read the books I read. You see... I like reading books that help me understand people better. As someone who wants to be an advocate of love, I'm constantly learning what it means to do so. I realize that a lot of things I do are things some people don't understand. I'm okay with that because love doesn't make sense. At least it never has to me. The more I do understand it, the more I realize how much I don't know the extent of how it works.

I love people... And sometimes, I do want to give up on them... I do want to walk away and say, "I'm done". And when I resolve to do that, something happens and it hits me how selfish I'm being. When I want to give up, it's not because I don't see the potential... I want to give up because the person is not falling in line with what I want them to do. Most of the time, all it really is that they're not doing is giving me attention..

So I'm constantly praying... and reading the bible and blogs and books by people who I see model love in ways I want to. I'm always looking at ways I could learn to love better. When my selfish nature gets the best of me, there goes God sending something along to humble me. I am more of an advocate for pride than I am love... It's why I need faith.. It's why I believe in Jesus. It's why I'm desperate for His grace.. I mess up all the time. Sometimes in grand obvious ways.. sometimes in subtle unseen ways. And yet grace covers it all. It covers me when I can't understand why I keep messing up.. and it covers me when I feel like I just can't get it right. The more it covers me, the more I can be honest in my relationship with God.. and I believe He hears me. I believe He listens to the matters of my heart. I believe He wants to break me away from the shame and guilt that sometimes creeps in.

How crazy is it that someone loves me that much in spite of all my mistakes. It's kind of a scary thing but at the same time, it's comforting. It's a comfort to know I don't have to be perfect to approach Him. He takes me as I am, full of mess and all, and restores me. I feel the change in my heart beginning to take place, and for that I'm grateful. I'm tired of living like He's not in control of things.. And He loves me anyway.

I guess what I want to say is that... Jesus loves you. I know that's cliche but, He does. If He can take me as I am, there is nothing you could do to separate you from His love. There is no better news than that.