In taking a break from our regularly scheduled progression through Acts, this week we hashed out applications of Romans 8 in a Mother’s Day message.
Like most moms, I know the woes of toddler defiance. In my home, we daily stumble our way through two-year-old apologies. But even more than the display of body-mopping tantrums, it is the gusto of their return that never ceases to amaze me. After the total violation of the relationship, how are they so secure in my admittedly imperfect love? Why is it so easy for them to return so wholly? It is not their faults, but rather their freedom from them which strikes me.
We have much to learn from these kids. We’re mistaken to revel in their mini redemptions but believe the story somehow differs when it comes to our adult messes. Instead of engaging repentance, we manufacture caveats to our forgiveness and wear masks for our shame. We profess our belovedness by God through our mouths but find that truth forgone in our gut. We are laden with guilt, somehow believing our return to the Father can’t be so pure and delightful as that of our children – or the children we desire to have. This is the work of an enemy who attacks at whatever level we are – weary mothers, wishful mothers, father, brothers, sisters, friends.
When you’re tempted to believe our God is angry, impersonal or awaiting grand apologies, remember His joy as the prodigal’s Father. We are all His children. He calls us home without condemnation or conditions; let’s come as we are.
Shame and condemnation mean we’re holding onto what Jesus has already cleansed. Spend a few minutes this week meditating on not just the gravity of the cross, but the total freedom it offers.
Father, help us to see more clearly your goodness.