Open Arms

boy running awayI once knew this guy who wasn’t perfect.  He sinned a lot and messed up almost daily…..whether it was his thoughts, his actions or his intentions, he just couldn’t stop…it’s almost like his nature as a whole was infected with selfishness.  He wanted to do good, but the things that he wanted to do, he failed to do and the things that he didn’t want to do, he did.  Make sense?  Good 🙂

That guy is me and I’m pretty sure that it’s you too.  We all struggle with sin every single day, in different ways.  It’s just part of being human.

There are 2 ways in which we can react to our own sin:  1.  We can run AWAY from God out of guilt, shame and embarrassment  2.  We can run TO God with a trusting heart, knowing that by His grace and mercy, He will forgive us.

The temptation to run is something that I’ve struggled with for many years.  It’s not productive at all….it just divides and isolates me from God’s presence….a pretty lonely spot.

My buddy and I were talking about this the other day….how our sin can separate us from God so easily, not because He pushes us away, but because we CHOOSE to distance ourselves out of fear.  At the root of it all, I think we’re afraid of God’s magic score card, making giant checks against our existence every time we do something wrong.

In fact, many folks have dismissed God altogether because they know they can’t measure up.  The truth is, THEY’RE RIGHT!  None of us measure up to God’s perfection….no matter how many church services we attend or how many hoops that we jump through.  Only Jesus provides the forgiveness that we need.  Fortunately, He forgives us a lot…like multiple times a day, every day.  WHEW!

I often compare my relationship with God to my own relationship with my sons.  Sure, they mess up a lot.  They’re just normal, goofy, rambunctious kids!  Of course they’re going to make mistakes and of course I’m going to still love them and forgive them when they do!  That’s the thing, I EXPECT them to mess up because I know that they’re imperfect and growing.  I think God sees us the same way.

My heart would break if my kids ran and hid and ignored me and rebelled against me every time they were in trouble.  It would tear me up inside not just because I love them, but because I know that there’s so many things that I can teach them through their mistakes…so many lessons to share together, so much character to gain.

When we run away from God, we’re not really escaping….He knows where we are….He knows what we’re struggling with…He just simply knows everything about us.  It’s a waste of time.  We need Him and without Him, we’re only black and white versions of ourselves.  He adds the color to our lives.  He enriches us, teaches us and frees us.

Imagine a life free from the heaviness of guilt and shame.  Free from fear.  Free from hopelessness.  Free from the pressure of measuring up.  Now stop imagining it and reach for it.  Jesus is waiting for you.  Don’t run anywhere but into His arms, I dare you.  He’s our Dad and believe it or not, He actually loves us!  Join me in soaking that one in!

God Bless,

Paul

 

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