I been blessed with a wonderful earthly dad. My dad would do anything for me. In fact, right now as I am in Uganda, my dad has taken on the daunting task of managing all that I left behind. This is only one of the many things throughout my life that my dad has done for me. For this dad, I want to say thank you.
Having a dad like mine has made it easier for me to reach out for God and to understand His heart and love for me. Not all of you have had this experience, some of you have been abused, rejected, some of you don`t know your earthly dad`s. Rest in the truth that you are loved and that you have a loving Father God longing to have a relationship with you.
Jeremiah 3:19 says this.....I have always wanted to treat you as my children and give you the best land, the most beautiful on earth. I wanted you to call me "Father" and not turn from me.
If you are searching, if you have made mistakes, find comfort in knowing that we have all sinned, that none of us deserve to have God's love, but He is ready to give it to us if we ask. Please take some time to read the following story and while you read it, imagine the Lord, waiting for you, longing for you to come home.
Sawat's Story...A Story of Forgiveness
He had disgraced his family and dishonored his father’s name. He had come to Bangkok to escape the dullness of village life. He had found excitement, and while he prospered in his sordid lifestyle he had found popularity as well.When he first arrived, he had visited a hotel unlike he had ever seen before. In each of the hotel rooms were teenage girls. Some as young as 12 years old and younger. Some of the girls were laughing and some looked nervous and scared. That visit began Sawat’s venture into Bangkok’s world of prostitution. It began innocently enough, but he was quickly caught like a small piece of wood in a raging river. It’s force was too powerful and swift for him, the current too strong. Soon he was selling opium to customers and propositioning tourists in the hotels. He even went so low as to actually help buy and sell young girls, some of them only 9 and 10 years old. It was a nasty business, and he was one of the most important of the young “businessmen.” Then the bottom dropped out of his world: He hit a string of bad luck. He was robbed, and while trying to climb back to the top, he was arrested. The word went out in the underworld that he was a police spy. He finally ended up living in a shanty by the city trash pile. Sitting in his little shack, he thought about his family, especially his father, a simple Christian man from a small southern village near the Malaysian border. He remembered his dad’s parting words: “I am waiting for you.” He wondered whether his father would still be waiting for him after all that he had done to dishonor the family name. Would he be welcome in his home? Word of Sawat’s lifestyle had long ago filtered back to the village. Finally he devised a plan. “Dear Father,” he wrote, “I wanted to come home, but I don’t know if you will receive me after all I have done. I have sinned greatly, father. Please forgive me. On Saturday night I will be on the train that goes through our village. If you are still waiting for me, will you tie a piece of cloth on the poe tree in front of our house? (Signed ) Sawat.” On that train ride he reflected on his life over the past few months and knew that his father had every right to deny him. As the train finally neared the village, he churned with anxiety. What would he do if there was no cloth on the po tree? Sitting opposite him was a kind stranger who noticed how nervous his fellow passenger had become. Finally Sawat could stand the pressure no longer. He blurted out his story in a torrent of words. As they entered the village, Sawat said, “Oh, sir, I cannot bear to look. Can you watch for me? What if my father will not receive me back?” Sawat buried his face between his knees. “Do you see it, sir? It’s the only house with a po tree.” “Young man, your father did not hang just one piece of cloth. Look! He has covered the whole tree with cloth!” Sawat could hardly believe his eyes. The branches were laden with tiny white squares. In the front yard his old father jumped up and down, joyously waving a piece of white cloth, then ran in halting steps beside the train. When it stopped at the little station he threw his arms around his son, embracing him with tears of joy. “Ive been waiting for you!” he exclaimed. (Floyd McClung - The Father Heart of God)
So, just as Sawat's father wanted his son to come home, just as he was ready to forgive him for whatever and wherever he had been, the same is true for Father God. Believe that he longs for you to know Him, believe that he wants to forgive you, believe that He loves you no matter what.