A Stronger Faith - Reflections
When Surrender Tracks You Down
“so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being”
Acts 17:27-28 NRSV-CI
God created us out of his abundant love. Scripture tells us that 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. It goes on to say that he sent his son to save the world through Him. So what did we need saving from?
To answer that question, you have to go back to God’s original purpose for us. He created us in His image and likeness so that we could walk and be in union with him; in a loving relationship with him. That was the plan, however, things went wrong.
They went wrong because we have free will and we freely chose things other than God to worship. We continue to do this to this day. We have worshipped everything from a golden calf to obsessions with money, power, pleasure, and honor, and we will continue to find our own individual substitutes for God.
But the good news is that God never stops loving us. In fact, he never stops pursuing us. In Acts, Paul says that we were created to search and grope for God to try to find him, but that he is never far from any one of us. Oftentimes, all we have to do if we are headed down a path away from God, is to stop and turn around. He will meet you right where you are with a loving embrace.
“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
Luke 15:20 NIV
This was most beautifully illustrated in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The younger son decided that he did not need a relationship with his father, but if he simply had the resources he could get by on his own. Heartbreakingly, he left and eventually encountered troubles. When he “came to his senses” he realized that none of his resources or willpower was enough for him in this life. He simply need to be back in his father’s house; back in relationship with him, no matter his status. We then see the powerful and hopeful scene play out of his father looking for him and seeing him from a “long way off”, and abandoning all decorum, running to meet him.
In this life, we will certainly have trouble. On our most recent episode, Mark Kessler experienced many tragedies that far outstripped his individual abilities to handle. But God was pursuing him. God was tracking him down. God was calling him to surrender, and to abide in Him; to walk with Him and be in union with Him.
Ultimately, that is the only way for Mark, and for us, to handle the heartbreaks of life.
Thankfully, God never tires in His pursuit of us. If we are headed away from Him, all we have to do is stop and turn around. He will be running to meet us and throw his arms around us!