The Heavenly Sigh of Relief
If you've ever been hurt by someone you honestly care for, you know that you never truly stop loving them. Perhaps that is what hurts the most; loving and being rejected. Having the sweetness of companionship, embittered by the pang of abandonment. To watch someone who you care for, perhaps more than anyone in the world, walk away from goodness, life, happiness, and you. With the absolute inability to do anything. To love with a love that doesn't let go, means that when someone else walks away, that part of you walks away with them. The part of your heart that has loved is torn away from you. God did that. In a whirl of beauty and excitement, He created us. His prized creation, unlike any other, in his own Holy Image. (Genesis 1:27). Like a good father, He gave them a place to live. A garden, a home, a purpose, a mate. He loved us. He loved us In a way that we can perhaps never truly know on this earth. "For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened." (Romans 1:21). We KNEW God. The Holy loving father. But when a serpent offered us our own way, we thought, if for but a moment, that we could do it better. Professing to be wise, we became fools (Romans 1:22).
Why would God let us wander away? This question has always haunted me. But the truth is, without choice, love is not true. God gave us a choice because He truly wanted our relationship. And we threw it away.
"They heard the sound of the Lord GOd walking in the garden in the cool of the day..." Genesis 3:8.
That verse always broke my heart. God came looking for Adam and Eve. To talk to them. But they ran away.
And so we go to the betrayed God. However, just as a parent of a prodigal never truly stops loving their child, so God never stopped loving us, seeking us, trying to make a way back. He said "how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Luke 13:34)
Add on to this a final heartbreak; We have sinned. God is holy, and cannot bear the sight of sin. So, no matter what, we are finished! Done! Can't ever get back to our holy, loving God. It's done. We walked away. The whole old testament is a narrative of God's pursuit of His creation.
But when we walked away, we walked away with His image, and His heart. He never stopped loving us. He would do anything to get back his creation. And did everything.
Christ, perfectly human, perfect God, perfectly perfect bridged the gap between us, our sin, and God. God sent Himself to win us back. For who else could live up to God's standards but God?
"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5
It is the most beautiful picture of love, and forgiveness creation has ever known.
When I sit and ponder Good Friday, part of me is filled with sadness that Jesus had to die. But part of me smiles, because it's DONE. FOREVER. Our price has been paid. We've been won back. The relationship is mended.
I have to wonder if on that day, it once it was finally done, if there was a heavenly sigh of relief. Because no matter what, God could have relationship with us. The wound was mended.
If you've ever been hurt by someone you honestly care for, you know that you never truly stop loving them. Perhaps that is what hurts the most; loving and being rejected. God did that. But it didn't stop there. He won us back. We are his again. Forgiven. loved.
What a relief.