“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
~ Hebrews 10:23 - 24
To consider that God has always loved us is sometimes hard to understand. While growing in our mother's womb, we are reminded that God already "knew us." The reality that God will continue to love us even after our death, is a promise. I can now see that the years that we live are our opportunities to say, "I love you," to God.
Yesterday while reflecting on the prodigal son during my sermon at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Galveston, I found myself remembering a very challenging time in my life as a youth, and how hard it is for me to think about the father in the prodigal story, because frankly, I didn't exactly have "Michael Brady" of the "Brady Bunch," as my fatherly role model. I would like to think that being the father of two children that are now adults, my view of my father has changed. The prodigal story is more than just an illustration of God waiting for us to "return home." I also believe that for the father in the story, it was also about him changing as well.
Failure and setbacks, separation and space, are things that sometimes we need to have happen in our life in order to understand what has been lost, or what we need to do to change a situation. It wasn't until I was an adult, facing adult problems, that I could see some of the things that I encountered as a young person from another place. The same could be said about some of the adult problems I faced in my twenties, that I can now look back on thirty years later with some wisdom.
Through it all, God is there. Sometimes being felt from a distance that we have created, other times, as close as our next heartbeat.
The prodigal son and his father is more than the story of a father and his son struggling to grow into a man. It serves as a reminder that both the father and the son sometimes struggled to be in relationship, but through a series of circumstances and life-events, the ultimate return "home," was able to be realized. Just as God's love for us reminds us from all eternity.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.