But while he (the son) was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.~Luke 15:20b NIV
Years ago, a friend’s adult daughter abruptly left her family and friends, cutting ties with everyone she knew.
She has always held a tender spot in my heart. Most of the time I am able to release her to the Lord’s care, but sometimes she weighs on my heart and I have to pray.
Yesterday was a searching day. I searched the Internet looking for any clues. There was no judgement in my heart toward her, just a deep longing to see her found and brought home. She would be welcomed “with open arms and hearts.”
It is like the Prodigal Son who went his own way and lived a life of unwise choices. The father allowed the son to go, but always kept a hopeful, watching eye. He longed for the day he would catch a glimpse of his son returning home.
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.~Zephaniah 3:17 KJV
It is by no coincidence that the song taken from Zephaniah 3:17 is playing in my mind today. In this passage, the Lord spared from judgment, a remnant of people who had been in rebellion, but who decided to return to God.
God, in turn, came to their rescue.
The phrase, “he will rest in his love,” always stood out to me. The word “rest” here, can be the type of rest referred to in a court of law. God is the rightful judge, but also the advocate/defender. The Lord “rested” the case for their defense, bringing an end to any more discussion about what they had done wrong.
Here the word “love” connotes more than mere fondness or light affection. It means to be “lovesick.” “He will rest in His love,” means that, because of the intensity of His love for them, He will defend them and rest His case — never again to mention their sin.
What “prodigal” areas do you need the Lord’s help with?
Father God, if there is any part of me that has been in rebellion, I repent. Where I’ve been in rebellion, draw me back home. I cling to the hope found in John 19:30, where on the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.” The payment for every single sin that I’d ever commit, from the beginning to the end of time, was paid for, in full, simply for my asking. Help me to turn around and run home. You are waiting with open arms and an open heart. With You as my Father, there is no fear of rejection or blistering rebuke — no fear of being mocked or beaten for my choices. There is only the promise of a warm, enveloping embrace, tears of joy for a lost child who has finally come home, and a song of celebration that fills the whole house with joy. Thank You for being that kind of Father, and for leaving the light on for all prodigals, including me.
In Jesus’ name. Amen
Copyright 2021: I’ll Leave the Light On for You. Love, Dad.: Julie Souza Bradley Lilly: All Rights Reserved