A Blessed Invitation
“Our Savior kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, He reaches out in kindness and says, ‘I can clean that if you want.’” —Max Lucado
There’s an old story of a Spanish father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away, and the father set out to find him. He searched for months but wasn’t able to locate his son.
Finally, in a last and desperate effort, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your father.
On Saturday, some 800 Pacos showed up, each looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers.
The story illustrates how desperately our hearts long for forgiveness and restoration with God. It’s true, as St. Augustine confessed to the Lord so many centuries ago, “Our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
But here’s the good news! God promises: “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you” (Isaiah 44:22).
The invitation in this verse reads very much like the ad Paco’s father posted in the story. And please don’t miss the action words in this passage from Isaiah—twice God says “I have,” which demonstrates who does the heavy lifting in this forgiveness scenario. Our task is simply to turn for home.
Do you remember the story of the Prodigal Son? When he determined to return home, the scripture says, “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” (Luke 15:20).
On those occasions when our sin has us feeling distant from our Father, relief and restoration are just a step away. King David shared from his experience:
“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night, your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:3-5).
We can be encouraged! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
And what a beautiful thing it is! “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven” (Psalm 32:1).
My prayer this week—Heavenly Father, I am so thankful you hear my confessions of sin. It is my heart’s desire to be right with you! Continue to call to my mind anything within me that I need to confess, so I might always experience the full measure of closeness with you. Thank you!