Where Are You on the Grace Journey?
No matter what’s going on in your life right now, you are on a journey of the heart to your Abba Father. Those very circumstances that cause you pain or joy are being used by our loving Father to bring you closer to Him.
Are you turning to Him? Or are you turning away from your Father to an addiction or other distraction? Are you experiencing His grace and love and sharing it with others? Or is your heart broken and closed off? Are you daily enjoying the Lord’s presence or do you hide from Him in shame and guilt?
Take a few minutes and quietly in your heart, ask the Lord to show you where your heart is on this journey. Are you hurting, angry, fearful, anxious or joyful and resting in the Father’s heart. Be honest. You can journal. You might like to share with a close friend. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to be a listening ear.
The Heart of Abba Father
One of my favorite authors, Henri Nouwen, wrote a book called, The Return of the Prodigal Son. The book is an in-depth study of Rembrandt’s painting and the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Look at the image above. You can easily pick out the Father and the Prodigal Son.
Rembrandt pictured the elder son at the right in the same scene. Both sons needed to come home to the Father. Jesus told this parable in answer to the grumbling of the religious leaders of that day, “This man receives sinners and eats with them” (Luke 15:2).
This parable is really about the heart of the Father. He is always waiting and longing to lavish His love on both sons.
The younger son sinned so openly and was surprised by His Father’s love and acceptance.
The elder tried to earn His Father’s love by doing everything right. Look at the older son’s stance in the painting. He rigidly judged his brother. He did not understand the Father’s heart nor did he experience and enjoy His love.
The amazing conclusion of Nouwen’s book is that the goal is for us to have the heart of the Father toward others. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Experience the depths of His love for you and that love can’t help but overflow from you to others.
Where are you on the journey to the heart of your Abba Father?
In one sense you are already there. Jesus brought you to the Father by His death on the Cross (1 Peter 3:18). When you believe and receive Jesus, you become His child (John 1:12).
You are His beloved child and He is your Abba Father. The Father loves you as much as He loves Jesus, the Son.
In another sense, you are not yet there. Here’s what I mean:
You are on a journey to understand and experience Abba Father’s love and grace.
At times of confusion and deep pain, I needed to see that events in my life were not just random and without purpose. When my dreams were shattered, my hope was that I am on a journey to know God. The point was not my comfort or happiness, but the ultimate purpose of knowing His grace and love and sharing His glory with others.
When the pain of shame and fear nearly overwhelmed me, I had to “see” the compassion on His face, the tender love in His eyes. Without a growing understanding of His love and grace, I would not have survived. That may sound a bit dramatic, but that’s the truth.
Knowing my Abba Father and His Son Jesus Christ in an intimate love relationship is life (John 17:3). He is my Life!
Dear friend, the Father is drawing your heart to Himself. Open your heart to Him. Tell Him where you’re at. Ask Him to reveal His love and grace to your heart. Turn to Him. He knows what you need. You can trust Him.
Let me know if I can pray for you. I would love to hear your story and how you are growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3:18).
In God’s amazing grace and love,
P. S. Check out the “Recommendations” tab for books to read for your encouragement. You can order Henri Nouwen’s book through my affiliate link here, The Return of the Prodigal Son.