“...But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 ESV
What does God do when we run? How does our Heavenly Father respond when we listen to the lie that happiness can be found apart from Him? The more we understand how God responds to our sin, the less we feel compelled to attempt drinking from broken cisterns.
Disgust, anger, or contempt do not reflect our Father's heart when we are refusing his fellowship. Compassion and tender pitying love, these are the emotions which grip the Almighty when the objects of his affection go astray.
God ever desires to scoop us up in his arms and deliver us from the enemy and our own confusion. King David in the 23rd Psalm declares that God's goodness and mercy are pursuing us every day, this includes the days we are running the wrong direction.
Perhaps the clearest revelation of how God responds to us when we are struggling with sin is revealed in the story of the prodigal son. The longing heart of the father for his wayward son is demonstrated in the climax of the story. When the aging father races in reckless abandon toward his bedraggled son, we understand something of our Father's heart toward us.
Love gives us the freedom to run, but He cannot sit idly by while we are bruised and broken by sin. The moment we stop running and turn to hear the voice that is calling after us, the God of the universe takes off in a sprint. Scooping us up, he carries us to a place of safety. Our Father ministers to our wounds and if we allow him, he deepens our understanding that he alone can satisfy.
Let the reality that God runs after you to turn your attention away from how often you run from him. Rebellion loses its power as we come to realize that we have no reason to resist this God of perfect love. Little by little our desires to run lessen. As we persist in seeking to discover God's heart toward us, our episodes outside his fellowship are not as often or lengthy.
Whether here or in the hereafter we will eventually stop running altogether. Omnipotence refuses to overpower your will, but be assured, God is very capable of outrunning you. Heaven will be characterized by an unbroken and ever deepening fellowship with the one who overtook us.
Still Seeking His Face,