It’s one of our worst
nightmares. You sit down to work at your computer, but you can’t find your
file. You are sure you saved it – but where?
You frantically look through your directories, but the file has disappeared.
Hoping against hope you
call in a computer expert. They sit down at your machine, and begin to key in
commands. The screen starts showing information you have never seen before as they
probe deeper and deeper into the memory. And finally they look up and say, “I
have good news for you.” And, to your intense relief, your lost file is once
more displayed. It wasn’t lost – it had only been hiding away somewhere in
It is actually quite
hard to totally eliminate a file from your computer. Technically, files that are “lost” don’t get erased; they’re only
unlinked. They are still stored somewhere until something else is written over them.
Removing a file so that it can never be retrieved again usually requires some
conscious effort and deliberate action from a specialized program.
Maybe there’s an even
worse nightmare than fearing that we’ve lost an important file in our computer
– the fear that maybe God has stopped loving us because of our continued sins.
But there’s good news.
We can rest assured that such a thing will never happen. Regardless of how we
might feel, or what we might fear, God never stops loving us. You will never
fall through the cracks, or get swept aside in God’s heart.
In Luke 15, Jesus told
the parable of the prodigal son to reassure us of God’s unfailing love. Even
after the selfish son had taken his inheritance and squandered it in sin, his
father never stopped loving him. He longed for the day that his son would come home,
and when the wretched young man finally did, hoping he might only be treated as
a hired servant, he found that his father immediately embraced him in love and
honored him as his beloved son.
“When he was still a long way off, his
father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him.
The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned
before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’ “But the
father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean
set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on
his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re
going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive!
Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time”
(Luke 15:20-24, The Message).
Jesus wanted us to
know that God feels that same way about us. We might think we’re lost to God,
but the truth is that we never are. As Paul wrote in Romans 8:39, there is
nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
I’m Joseph Tkach,
speaking of LIFE.