Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Open Arms

I stood at the stove, stirring a panful of hamburger, barely able to see through the tears filling my eyes. “I just want my Erin back,” I lamented aloud to God.

During our daughter’s senior year of high school, she pushed all of Dick’s and my buttons, testing every limit we ever set. She deliberately walked a path she knew was fraught with pitfalls. Dick and I prayed and disciplined and protected to the best of our ability. I grew bone-weary of the arguments—and I cried more times than I can count. I missed the relationship she and I used to have. I longed with all my heart for her to simply run back into my arms.

Thankfully, by God’s grace, that day did arrive. Our relationship now is better than ever, due to the living faith in Jesus that we share. Our only regrets are the miles separating us; we both look forward to those times when we can physically hold on to one another. In the meantime, we hold each other in prayer.

With our history in mind, when I read Isaiah 65:2, I understood, at least on a small scale, how God must have been feeling when he said, “All day long I have reached out to stubborn and sinful people going their own way.”  (Isaiah 65:2)

God had done everything possible to help the nation of Israel, the people He had chosen to carry His message to the world. He had rescued them from slavery, led them through the wilderness, provided them with judges and kings, gave them victory over their enemies, and blessed them with growing families, fields, and flocks. And yet they weren’t faithful to Him. They didn’t obey His commandments, they worshiped statues and foreign gods—and then grumbled and complained that God had abandoned them!

And yet … He still loved them, still hoped they would return to Him … still held out His arms to welcome them back.

God’s open arms are also available for us—despite our lack of thanks for what He has done, our disloyalty, our faithlessness, and the myriad of other sins we have committed. Whether we have never trusted in Him, or we have wandered away from His embrace, God is waiting for us. He holds out welcoming, guiding, loving, forgiving arms to us, yearning with all His heart, “I just want my child back.”

“I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins.
Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
(Isaiah 44:22)

Be encouraged!


©2018 Pamela D. Williams