At times I speak in riddles, symbols, pictures, or mysteries. Everyone demands an answer or interpretation, but where have you been in years prior? Why have you been so distant until this day? Why do you not respond to the tender, soft, and gentle voice in which I speak? Why do you ignore these means of contact? Why do you turn your ear to my voice only when catastrophe and calamity come to your neighbor’s door? (1)
For so long I have called out to you, and so long I have remained patient. And still, even today I remain patient, but let me encourage you, do not delay. Do not hesitate to come to me, to know me, to love me, or to allow yourself to be changed. These matters are important, yet you so easily trade what is important for what is unimportant, and still you do not listen.
My love for you is great, just as my commitment to you is also great. My faithfulness is great, and I will redeem, restore, rescue, and save despite mistakes, rebellion, or deception. I have come to restore the breach, to repair the broken fences, and to heal the hurts. Though you find yourself on the wrong side of the fence, trust in my goodness and heart to save, for it is still not too late. (2)
Regardless of mistakes from your past, my plans and intentions for redemption will prevail. Regardless how you have lived, I can save. So step out from where you are, and engage your heart with mine. I will not turn you away, but will embrace you as my very own. I will welcome you with arms wide open, standing and looking from a distance waiting for your return to me.
And when you come, I will not shame you, nor reject you. I will wash and refresh you. I will give you fine garments and new shoes. I will put a crown upon your head, and a ring upon your finger. We will sit and dine together in celebration of your homecoming, and you will be filled to your satisfaction, as my joy surrounds you on every side. (3)
Trust in my heart for you, because my love and patience for you is great, as is my desire to rescue. Come to me and do not delay, for I will not turn you away, but will welcome you with my arms wide open, and embrace and accept you as my own. (4)
(1) Numbers 12:8, Mark 8:18, Jeremiah 5:21
(2) Romans 12:12, 2 Peter 3:9, 2 Timothy 2:13, Joel 2:25-26
(3) John 6:37, Proverbs 24:16, Luke 15:11-32
(4) Galatians 5:22-23, Psalm 136:12, Romans 8:15