“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20, NLT)
What is the first thing that happens when we have done something we know is wrong? The “accuser of the brethren” is immediately piling thick layers of condemnation onto our emotions. Often we hang our head and slink away from the presence of God, ashamed. This instinctive reaction goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. As soon as they fell, they hid from their Creator.
But Daddy God doesn’t want us to slink away. He doesn’t want us to hide far away. Instead, He wants us to hide ourselves in the shelter of His waiting arms.
An experience I had with my daughter Anna brought this truth home to me in a powerful way. When she was around three years old, there was a particular occasion when she had deliberately disobeyed me. Not being the perfect parent that God is, I had raised my voice and reprimanded her in a spirit of impatience.
I then anticipated that she would steal away to another room and cover her face in her arms. I imagined that her guilt would keep her separated from me for a while.
Instead, she ran to me. She threw her little arms around my legs and looked up at me imploringly with tears rolling down her cheeks. “Please forgive me, Mommy!”
Instantly, my heart melted. I wrapped my arms around her too and we were immediately reconciled. I held her so close, and all of the pain of the incident was entirely washed away in love. The distance between us was gone.
Right then, Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. “When you sin, please don’t run away!” I heard His gentle voice say. “Do just like your precious daughter did. Run right into my arms!”
Daddy God can’t bear it when, in our embarrassment, we begin to avoid Him. His heart has no desire for you to punish yourself for the sin Jesus already absorbed and conquered at the cross. His blood is immediately available to cleanse you from all guilt and shame.
No matter what you have done, no matter how many times, He has paid for them all. He is aching for you to return to His waiting embrace!
“If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 2:1-2, NET).