What a picture of God! Across the room, you hold out your arms, the young grandchild sees the invitation, runs full whack into your arms and hugs you, and you hug him. He comes with open face, his eyes fixed on yours, at a great speed, and expectant of being received with a full embrace.
What a beautiful picture of how God is with us. His arms are open wide and His invitation is for us to come to Him. This is supposed to be how children learn what God is like and how He loves them from their earthly parents. Unfortunately if there isn’t that parental love it gives a child a distorted view of what God’s like and they may grow up with no idea of His Fatherly love.
But even if our children grow up and turn away from the godly things we’ve taught them, we still love them to bits. So it is with God. Although it hurts God to see people far away, not having any relationship with Him, He still loves them.
Jesus loved us to death – His death on the cross. He longs so much, for us to come back to God. ‘Father, forgive them,’ He cried. Perhaps you, as a parent, would die for your child, you love them so much. As the father in the story of the Prodigal Son was always looking for his son to come home, so God’s always looking for His lost children to come home. As the prodigal son knelt in repentance, his father lovingly embraced him.
God is a ‘restoring God’. He understands the love we have for our children and He hears our prayers for them. Malachi 4:6 says that before the Great Day of the Lord, ‘He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers’. What a wonderful promise to hold on to and how significant that it’s the last verse in the Old Testament. So be encouraged and never give up praying. This is God’s will, so let Him write His prayer on your heart for them, and then praise Him as you bring the prayer before Him.
I love these words of a Graham Kendrick song called ‘God is good’,
And when I think of his love for me, my heart fills with praise and I feel like dancing –
For in his heart there is room for me, and I run with arms opened wide.
Prayer: Dear Lord, May we learn to be open-hearted like little children as we come to You. Help us to trust You completely with everything that concerns us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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