But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13 NIV)
My one son has his challenges. One of them is that he has huge emotional outbursts and can’t calm down from them. One particular day, I was exhausted and I called my mom crying; I didn’t know what to do. She listened, and gave me a few pointers, “Your dad used to just go towards you when you were doing that. He’d wrap you in an embrace and not let go. You’d finally calm down and melt into his arms.”
I’ve been doing this. Whenever my son has an emotional outburst, I run towards him, scoop him into my arms and hold him until he settles down. He goes limp and settles calmly in my embrace. Slowly but surely the outbursts have become less, and they last for a few minutes before they dissolve in tears.
We all want the assurance that we are loved, but what would we do if we really felt surrounded by his love? What if we realized that when we were calling out, he was coming near. That his death on the cross brought us closer than any human effort ever could. That grace is exactly this: A God that comes near when we are crying out in distress, sinning, throwing fits, exhausting our own efforts, running away, and he runs towards us again and again for an embrace. Will you run towards his embrace this year instead of away?