“Come home safe,” were my words to my daughter this morning as she left for her sophomore retreat.
As parents, isn’t that our biggest fear? That something will happen to our children. And so it is with our Father in heaven. What does that mean?
I know that I did not fathom God’s love for me before I was a mother. I’d hear the words, “God loves you” and say yes as one of those bobble head figures. Sure. God loves me. But those words didn’t take root, they skimmed the surface.
Once I became a mother, I realized there was nothing, NOTHING, that I wouldn’t do for my children. Nothing. Call it the mother bear syndrome if you like, but at that moment of transfiguration from woman to mother, everything in my being changed. I wanted to protect this new life with my very life.
I know my husband had the very same feelings when each of our children were born. There was great joy and great responsibility. He will do anything for his children. ANYTHING.
So if I love my children with everything I have, how does that change the saying, “God loves you?”
God is my Father. He said so. It started in the Old Testament, when Abraham called God, “Father”, Abba. Jesus continued to proclaim many times how much the Father in heaven loves us:
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” –Matthew 6:26
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” –Matthew 18:12-14
Matthew 5:48 reveals Jesus saying, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” That seems hard if not impossible. Perhaps we misinterpret the Father’s love?
There are many paths that we take in this life. Wandering, sometimes lost, sometimes on the straight and narrow road. We take detours, thinking there’s a shorter path to happiness. We make decisions we later regret. In those moments of darkness and regret, it is when we must, “Be Still and Know that I am God.” -Psalm 46:10
It is then we need to interpret Matthew 5:48 as Jesus saying, “Come home safe.”
What gets us Home? Trying to do the right thing. To live in the promise that God knows what’s best for us. In that hope we learn to trust Him.
Revelations 14:4 says that those reach heaven, “follow the Lamb where ever he goes.”
That is perfection. To follow Jesus always and in everything.
As humans we will stumble, perfection escapes us. But it is the fact that we get up and try again, that’s where perfection comes in. That road leads us Home safe.
I don’t often use song here on my blog, but I love this song by The Fray, Be Still.
Take a moment and listen and know the “I AM.”
God wants you home safe.