A Parent’s Heart

The anticipation over what is ahead for me is exhilarating! What’s happening? Our Brits are arriving on Friday and our Texans are due to deliver grandbaby number five any day. Quite possibly, we could be all together under one roof next week! My heart is so full!

While I wait, I’m attending to every detail in preparation for the wonderful memories that will be made. I want everything perfect for my family! Leisurely mornings with coffee and pancakes, laughter-filled playful and adventurous afternoons, relaxing evenings spent deep in conversations that linger well into the night, and delicious meals together.

I also know the greatest joys will come as I abandon all of those expectations and live in the moment! After all, we have no idea what each day will hold. And grace is key. We must be gracious toward each other: generously giving the benefit of the doubt, and going with the flow when things don’t go as expected. Which is what usually happens when multiple generations are together.

Our family is not perfect, we’ve had our fair share of crazy; just like every family on earth. We’ve said the wrong thing, done the wrong thing, had the wrong attitude, misunderstood motives and hurt each others’ feelings. We’ve cried for each other and because of each other. We’ve failed each other more than once, and we will again; that’s the nature of humanity and family – there is no perfection in this life.

However, for the most part, we try to practice loving and forgiving. We seek forgiveness, extend it, receive it, and live in it. When we are hurting, grace and forgiveness open the door for reconciliation. We are thankful for the deep love we have for each other, we don’t take it for granted, and we look forward to spending time together.

As I excitedly await the reunion of my family, I think about how God might feel as he waits for his children to come home. I know that God exists outside of time and he already knows everything, so I suppose he doesn’t wait as I understand waiting; and God knows exactly when – or if – his children will come home to him. However, from our perspective, he waits.

As much as a human parent loves spending time with his or her children, imagine how much more the God of the universe loves it! I think God has amazing and spectacular adventures in mind for his children: long walks, and lingering talks, deep conversations, and intimate bonding. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him – (2 Corinthians 2:9 NLT). Why would we make him wait? Why would we wait?

Just as earthly families can have their hiccups, so does God’s family. Only God is never at fault. Nope. Not ever. God is perfectly good in all that he does. He is perfectly right in his words, his actions, his attitudes, his love, and his motives. He is perfectly worthy of our trust and faith. He will never let us down or hurt us. He will comfort us when we cry and he is always as close as we want him to be. He will never fail to be anything less, or do anything less, than what we need him to be or do. That is God’s nature: He is perfectly good in every way.

Yet, God’s children often don’t come home regularly. They don’t come to him in prayer. They don’t come home to celebrate. They don’t come for encouragement or support. They don’t come to worship. They let the busyness and worries of life keep them away from Dad. Their hurts and misperceptions become excuses to stay away. And so, as much as we can imagine, God waits.

Because God is a perfect parent who loves with a perfect heart he perfectly waits for his children to return to him in confession and repentance. He waits for his children to come home. He waits for us to sit and visit with him. He waits for us to have a meal with him. He waits for us to confide in him, to consult him, to invite him into our lives. He waits to make wonderful memories with us.

When we accept the invitation to submit to the Lordship of Jesus and receive the salvation that he died to provide, then God adopts us as his children. As God’s children, we have access to our Father at any time. We can boldly come into his presence and when we do, we will find our loving Father waiting to receive us with outstretched arms.

Are you separated from a parent because of misunderstood words, actions, or motives? Will you seek forgiveness and reconciliation? Is it time to go home?

Are you separated from God? Will you seek reconciliation? Will you seek forgiveness? How long has it been since you went home to church and spent time with your Christian siblings worshiping your Father? How long since you sat with God in humble submission and prayer? Is it time to go home so the celebration can begin? In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents – Luke 15:10 NIV.
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