Warmly Received

Think back with me.

It’s a hot summer day in your childhood. As you lazily stare out the window, you wipe a tiny trickle of sweat from your forehead with the back of your hand. What am I going to do today? you wonder.

Then suddenly—what’s that sound? A soft melody tinkles in the distance. You raise your head, perking to attention. Is that what I think it is? The melody continues to chime, getting a bit closer now. The ice cream truck! You spring to life with a loud whoop and make a mad dash for your treasured piggy bank.

Most of us probably have at least one memory like this. I grew up in military town Daleville, Alabama—a very, very hot and humid space but alas, the ice cream truck didn’t come around often. In a way, that almost made its visits all the more special.

I’ve been searching for an analogy to convey a beautiful truth God has been reminding me of lately, and I’ll admit, this little parable is not perfect. But maybe it will help. Did you know that when you call to God in prayer, He “springs to attention” like a child does who hears the ice cream truck? His ears perk, His heart lifts. I can just imagine Him singing out to His heavenly companions, “Oh! My beloved’s voice! I can hear My beloved’s voice! My little treasure needs Me!”

Of course I trust you’ll bear with that poetic paragraph. We know that God’s ears do not “perk” since He is always alert. He never slumbers nor does He have a need for a break. But in a very, very real sense, God, full of rich emotion, does “lift” when you are thrown into the equation. Perhaps you are unaware how deeply you move God.

Dear friends, this is a sacred reality.

Too many who are of the Way feel like a burden to God. Too many feel this weird pressure to conjure up a lengthy, Shakespearean prelude before the meat of their prayer, hoping this will make them better received. Too many feel like God is far more concerned with kingly matters than the tiny cries of a simple man. Too many are convinced God heaves a sigh, rolls His eyes, and mutters, “Fine, hurry up. Let’s get this over with.” But not a single bit of that is true.

The door to God is open wide. Always.

Like the good Dad He is, He will warmly, wholeheartedly receive you. Always.

You are welcome. Always.

I pray that this truth will set you free from your tiresome performance. I pray this reality will forever change your friendship with our Abba Daddy. In a similar way that a sweaty eight-year-old boy will run to claim his ice cream treat on a hot day, God enthusiastically flings open His heart to receive you. You are His special prize.

In Jeremiah 31:20, we find God speaking: “Oh! Ephraim (but feel free to insert your own name) is My dear, dear son, My child in whom I take pleasure! Every time I mention his name, My heart bursts with longing for him! Everything in Me cries out for him. Softly and tenderly I wait for him. God’s Decree.”

Amen and amen,