Grace and Friendship – by Stuart Segall
Grace and friendship walk hand-in-hand most of the time. As you may know, I speak and write about friendship and so it is good to ponder this similarity when you realize that grace is like friendship. You only know you have either one when you really need it.
If you don’t get that, well I pledge to you that you don’t get grace. For some, grace will be their own definition of things like “unmerited pardon,” but for me the richness of grace is about what “amazing grace” is. It is about the father in the prodigal son story. My past experiences, which are rich and many, show and tell me that many don’t even get what that father did throughout the entire time his son went astray.
When the son wanted relationship of the lowest kind, a servant in the household, he came back. He was not looking for love, as he appears to have given up on that. He was looking for survival. Yet on his return, he experienced no preaching or lectures. He faced no, “prove it to me”.
In Luke 15:17 we read, “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.”
Now that my friends, is not only grace, but that is AMAZING GRACE!
This is just a profound welcoming – a Godly love and friendship that says, “I never left you and never gave up on you. I am here to restore you. I am here for you to be better than you were before. My (His, not mine) specialty is the lost sheep and I am in the salvaging and saving business,” the father would proclaim. In other areas, the Father would show that He not only waits at the welcoming door, but that He pursues. That He goes after the lost. And because the lost are lost, sometimes the lost don’t even know they are lost.
If you are struggling, don’t listen to what the negative voices tell you. Listen to what He tells you! Your friends may or may not show up. They are only human, but the Father always shows up.
He is either waiting by the door just as He says, or He is out there searching with love to guide you back to Him.