Upon my return, I will give a brief overview of the trip along with some photos and videos. However, I just wanted to jot some stuff down before heading out. This week, I had some incredible reminders of the relentless love of God.
Through one of my jobs, I made the acquaintance of a Christian man in his 50s. We got to talking about our families one day, and I could sense some pain in his voice as he mentioned his children. He opened up and told me about his daughter that is my age. She was an incredibly gifted and kind-hearted girl, but four or five years ago, she got involved with the wrong crowd. She got into drugs and eventually was addicted to meth. She began to distance herself from the family, and then they stopped hearing from her altogether. It has now been four years that they haven't heard from her. They have an investigator, but they don't even know if she is alive. He told me this as he fought to hold back tears.
However, I couldn't help my eyes from watering as all I could think about was the story of the Prodigal Son. If his daughter ever comes back to him, do you think he would scold her? Would he tell her that she was an unloving daughter for rejecting family values and living this lifestyle? Would he turn his back on her the way she turned her back on them? Not a chance. He would wrap his arms around his precious daughter as tears flowed freely and his heart rejoiced. This is the love of God! It is relentless, consistent, never-ending, and freely ours! I recently read the book The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. I don't know what your thoughts on the book are, but he gives some beautiful descriptions on the love of our Father. His favorite verse in the Bible is Luke 15:20: "And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him."
I keep listening to one album over and over. It is "Take the World, But Give Me Jesus" by Ascend the Hill. They do some incredible renditions of hymns. One hymn they do is "The Love of God." These lyrics always blow my mind: