Ansell column: God's not mad at us; he wants the best for us
I just got a call from a friend, someone that I’ve had the opportunity to invest in, someone that I love a lot. My friend struggles (in case you didn’t know it we all struggle) with sin and it creates pain and hurt and eventually it leads to feeling hopeless and forever broken. I’m pretty sure this is a hard way to live and I know it’s not the way God wants us to live. Jesus told us in Matthew 11:28 that if we are tired and worn out, even burned out on religion, that we can come to Him and rest, get away and recover. In other words there is a better way to live, an easier way that is pleasant and even vacation-like.
It hurts to see my friend in pain and to see their behavior serve as the catalyst for a life that never seems to get better. I said I love my friend and I do and while that’s good what’s even better is that God loves my friend even more.
My friend told me that they no longer have any spiritual rhythms in their life and they need prayer because they feel lost. While this sounds bad it's not all bad. Hitting bottom is sometimes the place where we have a "comeback" — that's my hope, anyway.
I have another friend (believe it or not) and he's a famous preacher, if I told you his name you would probably know it but my friend constantly tells me, "Ken, God's not mad at us." That's truth. God's not mad at my friend and God’s not mad at you. In fact God is for us and He wants the best for us.
I love the Blonde and I know the Blonde loves me. Do you know how I know she loves me? It’s because my side of the bathroom mirror gets dirty, it gets funky. I splash water on it and it leaves marks. I somehow get toothpaste on it over and over and over and over (I think I brush my teeth way too hard). I know Jennifer loves me because she never says anything. Every week she just cleans that nasty mirror (sometimes I do too). All of this is in 1st Corinthians 13, “love keeps no record of wrongs.” In my case love keeps no record of times that I mess up my side of the bathroom mirror. Jennifer’s response is a reflection of God’s love. He’s not mad and she’s not mad either (at least I don’t think she is).
I told you all of that to tell you this. In Luke 15:11 - 32 Jesus tells the story of a man that needed a comeback. The story of the Prodigal Son is the story of failure and the need to come home to Jesus. Here’s the deal: God is waiting while we are "still a long way off," the "father" sees us and feels "compassion" and runs and embraces us and kisses us. See my friend is not waiting on God, God is waiting on my friend. God is waiting to celebrate our come back — the robe, the ring, the shoes, the fattened calf and the party are all waiting on us. He told me to tell you that.