This is a big week for our family as we all plan to be together again! The kids should all be home and we’ll be gathering with much of our extended family to enjoy one another’s company – to remember and share special memories, to laugh and maybe cry, to catch up with everybody’s news, and to just be together!
Like any Mama, I’ve been looking forward to this time together for weeks – planning, making lists, cleaning, shopping, and getting everything ready. Tonight I glance around at my family as they read, tap on computer keys, and play a guitar and sing, and then I look at the clock as I wait on a call from one still to arrive. The house is in disarray, the lists have long been abandoned, and I still have shopping to do, but oh how good it feels that we’re almost all together again!
As I thought about all of this tonight, I recalled God’s declaration of love for His people. “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3). Everlasting is defined as “eternal, lasting forever, incessant.” The Father’s love for His children is never ending. It is continuing and constant, drawing us to Him. It will last forever and will never run out in both good times and bad, when we’re easy to love and when we’re not, and whether or not we’ve done anything to deserve it. Our Father loves us with a pure and perfect love.
As much as I love my children, I realize that my love is imperfect and a poor imitation of the Father’s perfect, unconditional love for His children. Surely, His heart is grieved when we neglect spending time with Him and allow other things to come between us. How He must grow sad when we fail to read our Bibles and pray for His direction and guidance. And how we must hurt Him when we disregard His teachings and fail to honor Him by the way we live our lives.
Yet, in spite of our failures and the sorrow we may cause Him, God’s love for us is everlasting and unchanging. His Word assures us: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). It is not God’s desire that any of us not make it home.
- He planned a way.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
- He prepared a place.
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).
- He invited us to come.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Just as I look forward to having my family all together, and just as I eagerly wait for my last child to arrive safely home, our Heavenly Father also watches and waits for each of His children. He has planned, prepared, and invited. The rest is up to us. May we joyfully accept our Father’s invitation and eagerly look forward to the day when we will enter into His presence and finally be together again!