Have you even run from something because you thought the grass must be greener on the other side? I think it is something all living creatures struggle with. One of my little dogs is the king of testing my boundaries. The other day I opened the front door and he made a run for it. I ran chasing after him yelling his name. He stopped looked at me then took off again despite me yelling at him in my “motherly” voice. Much of our disobedience to God is the same. He tells us don’t do that but we think but it’s fun or it cannot be that bad or maybe in our impulsiveness we just take off without even thinking.
When I reflect over the times I have walked away from God I can break it up into 2 categories. Category 1, I knowingly walked away from God out of disobedience that I was aware of. Category 2 I unknowingly walked away from God because of lack of understanding, direction or awareness. Both can be equally devastating.
God has so much grace for us that it is beyond my comprehension. What I so often wrestle with is not God’s grace for me but grace for myself. For I tend to be extremely hard on myself. For me this is a place the body of Christ can help me. For there gentle reminder that God’s grace is more than sufficient goes a long way in helping me have grace for myself.
Some people need to hear that their choices were wrong because they are completely blinded by the effect their actions have on themselves and others. Others need more encouragement that yes their choice was wrong but that God is bigger than all our bad choices. There are some cases that silence may be needed but in my limited experience a brother or sister in Christ that is able to discern what a person most needs to hear is greatly needed in our modern world.
So to those that feel like they have walked away from God either knowingly or unknowingly may you know that he is waiting with open arms for you to rejoin him. And to all my we ask God to help us discern the words a person needs to hear so that they may turn to God and receive his grace. Amen
“Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:11-32