Today, I want to address something that I think too often causes Christians to feel bad, even though it shouldn’t. In some of the churches I went to growing up, there was an unwritten rule that you should read your Bible and spend a certain amount of time with God every day. While in theory this is a good thing to do, the reality is that it’s not always possible. Schedules change, things come up, and sometimes we just feel too tired. Though it’s always helpful to read the Word and to pray, our tendency if we don’t do it perfectly is to be mad at ourselves, to beat ourselves up, and to feel shame. This, however, is not the heart of our Heavenly Father!
Hannah’s Dad (who everyone affectionately calls “Doc”) gave me a great story to illustrate this point. Doc loves his 13 grandchildren, who happen to be spread out all over the country. While he doesn’t get to see them or hear from them as often as he wishes he did, he takes every opportunity he has to enjoy their company. After a long separation, when they finally get together in person, and he sees the kids running up to him and shouting, “Grandpa! Grandpa! It’s good to see you,” he doesn’t stand there with his arms crossed saying, “How come you haven’t called me or visited me in weeks?” That is not the way of love, nor is it the way of Jesus.
Friend, if today is the day you run to God, even after a long period of separation, He will not cross His arms and look down His nose at you, nor will He tell you that He’s disappointed in you. His love and presence in your life are a gift that’s always available without guilt. Just as there’s no shame in a thirsty man wanting a drink of water, there is no shame in you running to the Fountain of Life. A season of draught makes the drink all the sweeter, so embrace His presence today and He will welcome you. Isn’t that fantastic news?