He Will Renew You in His Love - by Lydia Pierson
The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing
But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.
A few weeks ago I was spending some time in scripture and prayer before heading off to fall camp for the high school youth group. As I meandered through the Bible with no real planned reading, a phrase from Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son got stuck in my mind: the part where the father runs to his son, who is still a long way off.
It’s a small, unexpected detail. And yet it is a gift that shows me the love of God and gives me incredible hope. Culturally speaking, it was unexpected, even inappropriate for a man of the father’s age and standing to run, especially to his wayward son. Yet the father casts aside all concerns of his rights and grandeur in order to show his child love. If I am like the prodigal son, and God is like the father, then what does it mean for God to run to me?
What does it mean for God to run to you?
This is the question that has been working on my heart. Honestly, I wouldn’t normally identify so much with the prodigal son as with the elder brother. But that isn’t the point. The point is that we have a God who calls us his kids, and who runs to us. He does not wait til we have reached the threshold of respectability to deign to be seen in public with us or acknowledge our presence. We get the gift of the God who is with us. Not only that, he wants to be with you, with me.
One of my favorite verses is Zephaniah 3:17 because it describes this gift of a God who loves us in a similarly exuberant way as the father in the parable. God delights in, rejoices over, saves, and sings over you, over me. As we anticipate both the birth of Jesus and his return this advent season, we have the gift of knowing that our God is not indifferently watching from the sidelines. He is racing towards us, embracing us, and rejoicing.