God Comes Gently

Genesis 3:8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

The Lord comes to us still, even though we have failed him, betrayed him.  Here is the original story from which the prodigal son parable derived.  It is never the Father who leaves, but the children who leave the Father.  A theology that says “God will have nothing to do with sin” is non-Christian.  He embraces us sin-soaked children until he gets it all over himself and has to pay the price for the wrong he never committed, and he willingly and gladly pays.

He does not come angry, shaking his finger, shaming and demeaning.  He comes gently in the cool of the day to restore them, looking for them down the divergent path they took from the Good.  The moral crash is sudden, but restoring the damage is a painful and slow process.  God can offer quick forgiveness, but rehabilitating hearts which have absorbed evil cannot be done quickly or easily or painlessly.  It distorts, twists, knots up every strand inside us that it touches, but our Father will work with us patiently and lovingly to restore… no, better yet, to enhance his original plan for us.

Grace comes most powerfully into effect when we have squandered away all rights to blessing.  Perfection leads to paradise, but that path is lost to us forever.  So grace steps in to open a new path, a way that turns even our failings into steps of healing and growth.  Because of grace, we need never despair, however great our failings.  God is always present to offer us a way out of the swamp of our own making.  Salvation is only a breath away.

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