This morning, I had the distinct privilege and honor of speaking a message of hope and God’s overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love to his children at our church, God Loves You Ministry, in my hometown. I’m still so blown away that God chose a ragamuffin girl like me to be his messenger, but I receive it and claim his will in my life.
When my friend, Heath, asked me last week if I felt ready to give the message, I said the thing we Christians love to say when we are not sure if we want to do something, “Let me pray about it, and I’ll get back with you.”
Of course, I knew in my heart of hearts that this is exactly what God has called me to do. Not only has he called me, he has equipped me. So, I knew I wanted to do it, but I had to make sure it was not my will but his.
Todd and I left after church that afternoon for Dallas, and I asked if he would listen to what I had written of the prologue of the book I am writing. (I asked, but of course planned on reading it regardless of his answer. I did have a captive audience, after all!)
After I read it, he said, “There’s the message, babe.”
“Ya think?” I asked. I wasn’t sure I was ready to reveal this part of me to my new church family at God Loves You!
After some prayer and consideration, I realized the Mailman was right. (There’s a first time for everything! LOL!)
So, this morning, I shared the testimony of how God has wooed me and woos every one of us, but will not force himself upon us. I shared how he created us for relationship and yearns for us to receive his love and believe in his Son so that we can live with him for eternity (John 3:16). I shared how, no matter how filthy you are, how much a ragamuffin you might be, GOD LOVES YOU!
At the end of the message, I opened the altar for anyone who needed prayer or just wanted to spend time at Poppa’s feet. There was no rush on the altar, so I sat on the edge of the platform and prayed.
After I was finished thanking God for holding me up as I spoke for him, I looked up to see the face of my beautiful granddaughter, Langley. She was looking at me, intently, as if waiting to be invited to come to me.
I stretched my arms out toward her in invitation, and her Grumps (the Mailman) allowed her to climb down from his lap. As she ran toward me, her face lit up with joy! I pulled her into my arms and embraced her, my heart full of love and gratefulness.
What a perfect illustration of how the Father reaches out to us! And if we trust… if we, with the faith of a child, surrender and run to him, he grabs us into his arms and plants a big ol’ kiss on our cheeks, calling us “Beloved child!”
God is a good, good Father! It is often difficult for us to understand what that looks like based upon our experiences with earthly fathers. If you have been hurt, abandoned, neglected, abused by a father figure in your life, you may not feel you can trust God with your heart.
I’m here to tell you, beloved, that you can. No one could possibly ever love you more than your Father, God. Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.”
And don’t forget John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Would you sacrifice anything, let alone your SON, for someone you didn’t love? I bet the answer is no!
Our Poppa is a gentleman, beloved. He is not going to force himself upon you. He waits patiently, earnestly, lovingly for you to receive his love and accept your adoption as his child.
Have you come to the end of yourself? Are you broken?
Come to the Father! His arms are open wide!
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, (NIV®), copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.