Sometimes I try to conceptualize God—I use to only perceive Him as a King/Ruler … quite debonair and distinguished. He walks about quite dignified with an air of authority about Him.
But more and more I’ve been dwelling on the free-spirited side of God—you know, the God who dances and rejoices over me and the God who runs!!!
Jesus told a parable (earthly story with heavenly meaning) in the Bible about a young man who wished his dad was dead. Yeah, he went to his dad and said, “I want my inheritance!” What he was really saying was: I wish you’d die so I can get what’s in your will (‘cause inheritance only comes to you after death).
Anyway, his dad capitulated, gave him the money. And, off he went gallivanting till soon he spent it all and found himself in a pig pen, eating the food of pigs. Yes, a Jew eating from a pig. Talk about hitting rock bottom, physically and spiritually.
Sometimes you must hit bottom to see up.
One day he came back to his senses and decided to return home to his father—broke, broken, filthy and ashamed.
All along his dad kept watch for his son. And one day, over yonder, he saw a frame that was the height of his son, that had a gait like his son. And as the frame got closer, the father saw that was indeed his son. Before the boy realized, the dad was already off the porch, had hiked-up his robe, and set off running toward him with open arms. It was undignified for a man of his stature to run, but in that moment a walk was too slow to get him to his boy, to hold his son in his arms. The father ran!!
This story is called the prodigal (wasteful, reckless) son or the parable of the lost boy. You may read it here in the Bible in Luke 15.
In many ways I’m often a prodigal daughter—being reckless with the love of my God, going in the opposite direction of His expressed will. Yet, in my stubborn intent to leave is His resolute intent to pursue and to draw me back to Him, every single time.
One of my favorite classic hymns is “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” (and the only one I can play on the piano). There’s a line that forces me to spiritual-reflection every time. The line says, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.”
It’s only after you’ve been prodigal-like that you can you really, truly understand what the prodigal son felt—from broke, broken, filthy and ashamed to REDEEMED and RECONCILED.
Now when I conceptualize God, I still see Him as quite debonair and distinguished (‘cause after all, He’s God!) But I also imagine seeing my dignified debonair Father strap on His sandals just a little bit tighter, pull up His robe and make a mad dash with arms extended as He draws closer to pull me into the best Daddy/daughter embrace I’ll ever have.
Imagine … God running!!
“O to grace how great a debtorWritten by Robert Robinson in 1757
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.”
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4 thoughts on “Shabbat Shalom: God Running ©Dawn Minott”
Sibling rivalry is common amongst brothers as they are constantly competing for attention from their father and it seems like this story is unfinished, because we are never told if the older brother eventually comes to the party. The older brother was angry at the prodigal son’s return and the joyous way that his father welcomed back his younger wasteful brother, so he refuses to attend the party. The father pleads with his older son to come and join the celebration, but he is mad and jealous, because he felt that his father never treated him as good as he is now treating his younger brother. This father loved his disrespectful son and longed for his return, just as God loves all sinners and He will wait patiently for them to repent and return to His love and seek His protection. If a sinner swallows his pride and comes back to God, then love will be shown to them.
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So true. The older brother always had His Father’s love and resources but took it for granted. Thank God He receives us as we are without judgment but in love and also loves us into repentance.
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His love runs towards us, His heart embraces us, His spirit hovers over us, His grace keeps us. Despite, our reckless heart!
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So very true Warren. You express it so well. Blessings bro