A Father's Grace

Posted by donna on March 6, 2019

I read a story about a little girl who bought cheap plastic pearl necklace from a dollar store. She wore it everywhere and every day. Her father came to her and asked if she loved him, and then asked for the pearls. Oh, no, daddy, the little girl replied; “I love you, but love these pearls too much. Day after day the father asked his little girl the same questionreceiving the same answer.  

One evening, the little girl came to her daddy with tears in her eyes and said; I love you daddy, and handed him her precious, and by now very dirty and broken plastic pearl necklace. The father reached into his pocket and handed her a little box containing a beautiful real pearl necklace 

What I love about this story is the patience and the continuous love of the father. Despite his little girl’s initial response, his love for her never waiveredHe wanted to give her something far more valuable than the cheap pearl necklace she so desperately clung to. Our Heavenly Father wants to give us something far more valuable than anything this life has to offer. Yet, we often cling to the wrong things. 

In the parable of the prodigal, the wayward son finally comes to his senses and realizes what he is missing out on back at his father’s house. He determines to return. He rehearses his apology speechI will rise and go to my father ... I will say to him ... I have sinned ... I am no longer worthy to be your son ... treat me as one of your servants. 

What was the father’s response? Was he burning with anger towards this prodigal who had disowned himwishing him dead?  This son had taken and wasted his entire inheritance, his actions causing the father and the family untold embarrassment. How dare he! And now … NOW he was going to saunter back with an apology speech? But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion and ran and embraced him and kissed him (Luke 15:20). 

We often cling to the wrong things. We are mesmerised by cheap plastic pearls and fail to see what our Heavenly Father wants for us. We squander our resources on fleshly living and only begin to think about our Father when we are in need, suffering, or at the end of our rope. 

In the parable of the prodigal, it does not say how long the son was away from home or what the father did while he waited. It does tell us, in a subtle way, that he was watching, and waiting …  looking for his son to return.  

Is this just cheap and easy grace? No. Can we sin, live how we choose, and then offer a quick apology and all is forgiven and forgotten?  The truth is, the grace the Father offers came with a hefty price. The price paid was Jesus dying on the cross. It was God taking upon Himself the penalty for our actions, thus enabling us to feel the embrace and kiss of forgiveness from our Father. God took the initiative to “look for us, eagerly waiting for us to return.” He Himself did what an apology speech could never accomplish. Even before the son opened his mouth, the father saw him, had compassion on him, embraced and kissed him, … accepting him as his own. He does the same for you and me today. All we need to do is come. 

The grace of the Father is not cheap. It came with a terrible and high price.  Yet, God willingly paid that price despite our actions and our sin. ThFather eagerly waits and watches for our return. 

Rejoicing in the Father’s Grace, 

Bill Allan  
AGC President                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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