by Impact Church
“Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.” Psalm 23:6
Researchers suggest that bedtime routines are essential for establishing and maintaining good sleep habits for children. For that reason we’ve kept a consistent bedtime routine since our little ones were a few months old. Our nightly rhythm includes bubble baths, books, and praying together as a family. Just last night I was sitting in the floor, post baths, with one toddler in my lap and the other curled up at my side. We were reading books when one struck me in a fresh and profound way. The book is entitled, “I Promise I’ll Find You” and is written from the perspective of a parent to their child. The parent vows to find the child, if ever it is missing, no matter what. The end of the book reads, “And if I had no other way, I’d walk or crawl or run. I’d search to the very ends of the earth, for you my precious one.” Sweet friends, that’s precisely how our Heavenly Father feels about us.
Throughout all of Scripture the Lord reveals Himself as a diligent seeker of the heart of man. One parable in particular gives us a clear depiction of His heart as He compares Himself to a shepherd who, despite all logic, leaves ninety-nine sheep to seek and save the one lost. Luke 15:4-7 says, “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Here’s our beautiful truth – God’s love is not passive; it’s active. His love is so compelling that it forbids Him to sit still or be silent. Over 2,000 years ago it persuaded Him to seek us even if it cost everything He had. He didn’t take the easy way out; instead He stepped into the earth He created and intentionally came in close to pursue our hearts with no guarantee that we would reciprocate the love He so graciously extended. He subjected Himself to a human existence and experienced the full gauntlet of earthly emotion and pain. He was mocked, ridiculed, plotted against, and betrayed. He died an excruciating, brutal, bloody death while simultaneously bearing every sin of every person in every generation. He carried that weight and endured that agony for you and for me. The mark of His love forever bore on the palm of His hands.
His love chased down and sought us out even when we wanted nothing to do with Him. Even then He was seeking, searching, and looking for the one. I was the one. His love found me as a young adult still mourning the loss of my father, sexually promiscuous, emotionally bankrupt, and striving for acceptance by compromising every standard I had. I was drowning in a deep, dark sea of regret, shame, and insecurity. On a Sunday morning in September 2006 I stepped into Impact Church Reidsville, a sophomore in college, with a vicious hangover from underage drinking the night before. That day He found me, joyfully put me on His shoulders, and carried me home.
His all-encompassing love is relentless. He never gives up, walks away, or throws in the towel. At the onset of this week we have every reason to rejoice! We have the assurance that God’s love will chase after us every day of our life! What a blessed position to rest in as a recipient of the mighty, pursuing love of God!