Have you ever had a friend or loved one say to you, out of the blue: “Are you mad at me? Did I do something wrong?”

You may simply be quiet, deep in thought, so you answer, “No, I’m not mad. You didn’t do anything to hurt me. I’m just quiet right now.”

They press you, saying, “Was it something I said?”

“No, you didn’t say anything. Everything is all right.”

Finally, to convince that person, you have to hug them. “Look, I love you! I’m not upset. But if you keep this up, you’re going to get me upset!”

Beloved, this is often how we treat our heavenly Father. At the end of the day, we go to our secret closet and say, “Let’s see now, how did I grieve Jesus today? What did I do wrong? What did I forget to do? I’m such a mess that I don’t know how he can love me. Lord, forgive me one more time. Someday I’ll be so obedient that you’ll find it easy to love me.”

God is there all the time, waiting to embrace you. He wants to show you how much he loves you, and he wants you to lie back and rest in his love. When the prodigal son came home, he was welcomed back into his father’s house. He received a new robe, ate at his father’s table and had full forgiveness. The one thing this son knew was that he was secure in his father’s love. He knew his father would bear with him, work with him, love him. That’s how our heavenly Father is with us.

No matter how far we may stray from our Father, we continually have the ability to return. We must believe these words: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6, NKJV).

God waits with outstretched arms to embrace all who accept his love and return to his presence.