You may have noticed that I've been silent for a little while. I've been working through a lot of major changes in my life lately - new job, getting ready to move, etc. So I certainly have had good excuse for playing hooky for the last few weeks. Truth be told, though, that isn't the reason I haven't been writing.
For the last few weeks, I've been struggling a lot in my relationship with God. The usual guilt. But boredom has been setting in strongly, too. I have little interest in prayer or reading my Bible at the moment, and it's really difficult to write about a spiritual journey when you're not feeling very spiritual.
As I've been processing these swirling thoughts and emotions, I've been feeling a need to approach my relationship with God differently. Most of my life, I've looked at Him primarily as a rather harsh, distant Father. One who is constantly disappointed in me because I'm not perfect. As I've been walking this journey of grace, I've begun to see Him instead as someone who sees my sin, but overlooks it in His mercy and gives me freedom to fail.
What I've been feeling lately, however, is a need to move past focusing on God's mercy. His mercy is amazing, but keeping that as my primary focus causes me to still be very conscious of my sin. And to see that as God's focus too. However, that is not what the Bible teaches. Scripture teaches that God's primary concern is relationship with us - not our sin. He hates sin simply because it involves things that hinder healthy relationship. You can easily see this aspect of Father God's heart illustrated in the parable of the prodigal son. In this story, the father did not even acknowledge his wayward son's apology when he returned home. Instead, he immediately embraced his child and threw a party to celebrate his return (Lk. 15:11-32). He didn't care how far his son had strayed or what he had done; all that mattered was that he was home.
So now, as I move forward in my walk with God, my challenge is to shift my gaze from God's goodness in overlooking my sin, and to focus on His delight in seeing me walk into His presence. God loves me. He's happy to see me. And He can't wait to embrace me even when I mess up. Because that's the kind of Father that I have.
From Gray to Grace