Can you outrun unconditional love?
One of my most favorite stories of the Bible is of the Prodigal Son. Sure, many of us can relate to running away from our Father, and returning to Him. But it’s the Father in the story and His overwhelming emotion that strikes me every time. The amount of grace and compassion He shows is nearly unfathomable. Unless you are a father..then..maybe..you can understand the deep and unconditional love expressed here:
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)
I have a feeling that David had similar sentiments about his son Absalom. We read about the tragic end of this relationship in 2 Samuel 18. Absalom is similar to the prodigal son inasmuch as he rebels against his father. But taking it to the next level, Absalom overtakes his father’s kingdom, shames him in more ways than one, and even goes as far as sleeping with his dad’s concubines in front of the entire city. YIKES! (Yes, you can’t make this stuff up..this is better than soap operas.)
But through all of this..yes, all of it..David continues to love his son. He continues to hope against hope that he will get to see his son returning home. And you better believe that if David saw his prodigal son, Absalom retuning, he would’ve been filled with love and compassion and would’ve run to his son, embracing him, and kissing him..
But instead, David sees a messenger running to him (actually two), and the news is not good. Yes, the army they were fighting against had been defeated..that was good news..but the leader of that rebellion was Absalom. And he was not spared. Justice was served to the rebel this time..not grace.
And like any father who has just lost his son, David reacts with deep emotion:
The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.” (2 Samuel 18:33)
Two similar stories..
Two similar sons..
Two similar fathers..
Two different results..
ONE unconditional passionate gracious LOVE..
Our Father LOVES us this way..with great passion..so if you think you’ve
- rebelled too strong
- ran too far
- sinned too much
- or squandered it all..
your Father STILL LOVES YOU..and He is waiting for you to turn around so He can take off running toward you!
Have you ever experienced THAT kind of love?