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Do you ever feel far from home?

I am not a parent, but I can imagine being a father. I can imagine having a little boy or girl whose life is my responsibility and delight.

One who looks to me for safety when they’re scared, for reassurance and for guidance.

One who rests unthinkingly in my love, happily confident that they are utterly wonderful in my eyes.

One who trusts that I will never abandon them and always forgive them.

This imagined ideal of what fatherhood is like probably isn’t something I’d actually be able to live up to. I know for many people, it isn’t true of their experiences of having or being a father.

But it is true of the relationship that God wants to have with us. He is the ultimate Father that every earthly father strives or fails, sometimes heartbreakingly and disastrously so, to live up to. And I find it utterly mind-blowing that this is exactly the kind of relationship that God wants with me.

Do you ever feel far from home?

God is our Parent. He lovingly formed us and gave us life, but we decided we knew better. We fought against Him, rejecting His authority and love, and removed ourselves from His family. We ran away, giving up our rights as sons and daughters – we orphaned ourselves.

Is it any wonder that we feel so disconnected and lonely, and so far from home?  

He came to us

But God our Parent loved us still, and so, He came to us.

Our rebellion had its consequences, but He took them upon Himself. In the person of Jesus, God Himself came, and died, and powerfully triumphed.

And now, despite all the ways we’ve fought against Him, it is possible to come home again.

 ‘Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God’ – John 1:12

We can trust in Jesus and be restored and transformed as children of God. We don’t have to earn it. God has already done all that needed to be done, at great cost to Himself – all we need to do is take the hand of the one who has come to bring us home.

Life as God’s child

By trusting in Jesus, then this is who you are. His child.

He is your Father, and He loves you boundlessly. He is attentively and relentlessly seeking your good, your growth, your joy in every moment. It is His delight to do so.

He calls you to come to Him when you’re scared, uncertain or confused. He wants you to be happily confident in His love and to know that you are utterly wonderful in His sight. He will never leave you and will always forgive you.

We were created to know His love

Human parents are at best imperfect pictures of this great love, and at worst can make it harder to believe that it’s true. But if you are His, then no matter what home you might be returning to this summer, you are deeply and perfectly known, cared for, and loved.

And what does God say to His sons and daughters when they return to Him?

‘Come with me. There are many more still orphaned and alone, and we must bring them home too.’

Toby Ling is a Theology graduate and UCCF Staff Worker at the University of Exeter, where he loves talking about Jesus and life with students.

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