22 July 2009

Thinking God will run out of welcome home banners

Jon over at Stuff Christians Like wrote a great piece on forgiveness. He said, "Forgiveness is the thing I ask for the most. In my head maybe I know that God’s forgiveness is eternal and inexhaustible but in my heart I feel like He’s going to run out of it. That He’s got a limited supply. And I’m burning them up, one by one, sin by sin."

I struggle with this in my own mind. I wonder how God can forgive me again for doing something sinful. It comes to a point when I think, "I'm scared to ask again. What if He says no this time? If I were Him, I wouldn't forgive me. I don't even deserve to be in His presence." Yet I muster up the courage and ask...again.

He welcomes me home, not because I am good, but because He is merciful.

1 comment:

Jon said...

Man, that was a great piece. I agree it is really hard to understand that kind of forgiveness since it doesn't come natural to us. It's funny you post this because I just read the passage last night where Jesus says we need to forgive "seven times seventy times." This is because He forgives in the same way. There is no limit (that's hyperbole He uses, not an actual number).

Even when we read that passage, it is still hard to fathom that God could forgive us that much...until we are able to experience giving forgiveness that much. Once you are in the shoes of the prodigal son's father and start to give that unwarranted forgiveness over and over again, you can start to understand (I say "start to", not "completely understand") how God forgives so abundantly.

I say all this because over the past couple months I have been doing just that: giving unwarranted forgiveness over and over again. The 'Tenth Party' story that Jon wrote hit me hard because I relate so much to the father in that story. I keep putting up the banner because “Today could be the day my child returns.” I'm not saying I am the best at forgiving in all circumstances, but I've been put in a circumstance now that has showed me a lot about Him.