But what if he took a detour one day? What if he decided the street looked more enticing? What would you do as his parent? Well, this mom would fly to his rescue, or more like huff and puff to his rescue but I'd get there for sure! I'd return him to the sidewalk where we could continue (and safely complete) our walk together.
By now, you've already noticed the trend to my blog. Here's where I make the connection to God. Remember, He's our Abba, Father. :)
So why do I act as if God is not as good a Father as I am a mother?
I have taken that detour onto the road and chosen the wrong direction. I have chosen to walk straight into oncoming traffic instead of alongside Him. There have even been times I've chosen to walk right up the ramp onto the highway instead of keeping to the sidewalk like I knew to do!
It doesn't take long to realize what I've done as I'm standing in the midst of speeding traffic wondering how I'm gonna get out of this mess. So I turn to God. He's my Father. He'll help me.
I tell Him I took the wrong route. I ask for His forgiveness and of course He gives it.
But, here's the kicker. Here's where I lose sight of God, my Father. I don't really receive His forgiveness. Oh, I thought I did. But, I imagine myself still standing in the street, stuck on the wrong path because of my poor decisions, unable to go back to the beautiful sidewalk. I'd love to get back, but I messed up and ruined that pleasant walk with God and can never truly get it back.
Oh, I believe He's still with me and helping me on my new path, but I never believe I can get back onto the IDEAL path He set out for me originally, the one we were walking together before I so royaly screwed up. I'll never get that closeness back with God, I'll never be used as well by God, I'll never...
Well as it turns out there's lots of off-ramps on that highway. We're not stuck up there.
I've heard Jeremiah 29:11 quoted all my life both in church and at home. "For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future." It's incredibly inspiring to know that the Creator and Giver of life has plans for ME.
BUT, what if we make our own detour? What if we KNOW we moved away from Him and His plan? Have we destroyed all attempts at His plan that gives hope and future?
Wait! Jeremiah didn't stop with verse 11. God wanted us to know more than the fact that He has great plans for us. Look at what follows...
"'You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you' - the LORD's declaration - 'and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you' - the LORD's declaration. 'I will restore you to the place I deported you from.' Jeremiah 29:12-14
Hmmm... that sounds more like a Father to me. He will restore your fortunes. He will gather all the scattered together. He will pick me up out of that street and return me to the blessed sidewalk. Just like I run to help my little boy and return him to his rightful place by me, to enjoy the rest of our morning walk together, My Father runs to help me AND He returns me to that rightful place by Him, just as He's always wanted, just as He originally planned.
Sure as the mom, I now recognize that my little one is in need of a few more lessons, but he's still MY little one. I will be the one teaching these lessons, I will be the one helping him along the way. And admist the teaching and lessons learned, we'll have a great deal of joy, conversations, and love. I can do both. My love for him and my joy with him doesn't pause until he's learned his lesson. Now God's not going to force us, but if we're willing, He'll teach and reteach all those lessons we need. And while He's teaching, while we're learning, we get to enjoy day after day of joy, conversations, and love with and from Him.
He says "Call to me... I will listen... seek Me and find Me."