“Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15)
I DON'T KNOW IF WE CAN COMPREHEND God’s desire to reconcile with His children and the lengths to which He will go (has, in fact, gone) to bring us back to Himself, but a mother’s longing to be reconciled to her children does give us a glimpse.
Without question, one of the strongest motivators for women to seek recovery is the fear of losing their children or the desire to get them back. I remember Sarah from the cover story lighting up when she told me about regaining custody of her daughter. These are the humans they grew in their bodies and carried for nine months. The connection is strong, and the joy at their reunion comes from a place deep inside them.
Jesus tells three parables about this same type of joy: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. The shepherd goes searching for his wayward sheep and joyfully puts it on his shoulders when he finds it. You can almost hear him humming and whistling all the way home. The woman cleans her house, sweeps and searches in every cranny until she discovers the missing coin. When she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors so they can rejoice with her. And the father, an older, dignified man, runs to meet his son while he is still a long way off. He throws his arms around him, kisses him and calls for a feast. “This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
Like the son in the parable, our separation from God is on us. We are the ones who walked away, and still He pursues us.
God longs to be reconciled to His children. He formed us in the womb, inscribed our names on the palm of His hand and numbered our days. And even when we rejected Him, He sent His Son to become a man, live a perfect life and die a horrible death—all so that we could be welcomed back into His warm embrace.
It’s this message of reconciliation that we share at Union Gospel Mission. There is no sheep too lost, no son too far gone, that the grace of God cannot bring him home. Thank you for partnering with us to share this good news with every man, woman and child who comes through our doors.