Some time ago I again said goodbye to my eldest son who was venturing back to the States for a 6 month study and travel time. Even though I did’t miss the smelly basketball boots, the banging doors late at night and the ever increasing production of food, I was well aware after his last time away that there were very few moments in the day and night when he would not be in my thoughts.
I have 3 grown children living at home and they are all my favourites, even with their varying personalities, characters and approaches to life. However whilst this son is not in my presence he is thought about, prayed for and pined for. A gap appeared in my life for a while.
In contemplating this farewell I have thought about how our heavenly Father must feel when we are away from Him. Remembering He is never far from us. I have pondered the stories again of the lost sheep and the prodigal son and come to understand with greater clarity that he never stops thinking of us, looking for us and longing for us to be with him. When Jesus walked the earth He was never out of earshot. When He was on the cross the Father did not blink an eye, He was with Him, suffering also. And so it is with us, his other children. He wants to do life with us, He is always drawing us, waiting for us to respond. Maybe it is not directly via a facebook message or a skype call but this drawing is real. No matter how we feel about ourselves He has no doubts about us, He is not ashamed or distant from us. He loves us with a love that is beyond human expression or words. He loves all that he has created (Acts 17) and like me with my son, He relishes having us close to Him.