My God is a God of promise and I am a child of promise. The promise comes by faith. Upon the consummation of the ages, my Lord established a blood covenant with me. It is a covenant of redemption – of eternal inheritance. But it did not come cheaply…
I was born. A perfect son. A child of promise. My father googled and awed over me. I brought such joy to my father’s heart. He loved me and I loved him.
As a young child, I looked like my father. Everyone saw the resemblance. It was an innocence. Purity. Trust. I had a child-like faith knowing my father would never leave me or forsake me.
I grew in stature and in favor with my father. His delight was in me and mine in him. He helped me see the beauty in creation. I loved picking beautiful yellow flowers from a nearby field and bringing them to him. I waited eagerly for his reaction and was overjoyed when he cherished them like a pristine rose (although I knew they were only weeds).
One day, on an outing to pick flowers for my father, I met some other kids my age. I was shy at first, but they looked nice enough so I ventured closer. I offered a meek wave to get their attention and said, “Hi.” Simple enough.
The oldest looked my way and immediately started laughing. I glanced behind me to see what was so funny, but saw nothing. I shifted my weight starting to feel uncomfortable. Then the taunting began.
“What are you wearing?” they shouted hysterically. “Are those sandals?”
I looked down at my feet. These were shoes my father bought me. I always wore them because I liked the way they felt.
Another one of the kids chimed in, “And look at your hair. No one wears their hair like that!”
My hands instinctively went to my head where luscious locks of golden curls grew. This was the hair I was born with. My father adored my hair, but suddenly I was beginning to hate it.
I felt such shame. Why was I so different from these other kids? Immediately, I wanted to run. I knew I should have ran straight home to my father. He’d know what to do. But my legs wouldn’t go that way.
I ran into the woods on the other side of the hill to hide. No one would see me there. I ran and ran from the cruel laughs of the taunting, mean kids. I ran so far my feet began to hurt as bad as my heart. Winded, I pulled up to a tree to catch my breath.
I wasn’t sure which was going to burst first. My lungs or my heart. But it was my eyes bursting into tears that won. I cried harder than I had just ran until not a tear was left in me. I was empty. Spent. And looking around I realized… lost.
Then I heard something. My ears perked up, listening. Yes, I heard it again. It was the sound of kids playing. At first, I was scared. I did not want another encounter like the one I just had. But as I continued to listen I became curious. I’ll tiptoe a little closer and just take a peek, I thought to myself. They won’t even know I’m there.
And so I crept a little closer. Bit by bit. It dawned on me that the closer I got to these kids, the more comfortable I felt. They weren’t like those mean kids at all. They were just having fun. Lots of it, too!
They were playing a game. Peering through the bushes it looked like they took turns tagging each other saying, “You’re it!”
Oh what fun! Suddenly, I had a huge desire to be “it”! No longer caring about what anyone thought of my sandals or my hair, I leaped out from behind the bushes. No longer hiding they saw me. They immediately ran to me and began hugging me.
Initially, I felt very self-conscious and very awkward. I remembered the comforts of my father’s house, but I stifled the child inside of me. It was time to let it go. These kids were different somehow, unlike the mean kids. They accepted me and I longed for them to love me. And love me they did.
I was terrified. It was nothing like the love from my father. He was always so gentle and selfless. Never imposing or impatient. What I experienced was a jealous love. A love never satisfied, but always wanting more. “Tag! You’re it!” And then when I gave in to them, I was no longer “it” and they moved on to the next kid.
In the end, this hurt worse than the hurt I felt by the taunting, mean kids. I felt I was in an ocean being tossed by the waves to and fro. I’m not sure how I kept my head afloat, but I did. I’m also not sure how long I remained in this condition. So long I was becoming numb.
After a while, I learned how to ride the waves. It became fun and I started to see why the others loved it so much. Sure I crashed all the time, but I just found another wave and got back up again. My father became a distant memory. I was enjoying this joyride!
Until one day I got hurt. Really. Bad. I had found a love to replace my father’s. Still, it was different from his unconditional love, but I found comfort in it nevertheless. They let me be “it” for a really long time. It hurt terribly when they decided not to play tag anymore. I was all alone. Days went by while I searched for love. Weeks followed. Then months. Without love, real or counterfeit, I was empty.
It was in this empty void that my mind uncovered a memory hidden long ago. It had been lost just like I had become that fateful day in the woods. It was a memory of my father singing to me as a child.
“You are a child of promise,
You are the one that I love.
So come to me child of promise
And receive kisses from above.”
I remembered those days of being comfortable in my own skin. Of being safe. Of not being someone that I’m not. The more I pondered that memory, other memories began flooding my mind. I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that I had to get back to my father’s house. I just had to!
It was as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. As if guided by a force I could not see, in an instant I knew how to get back home. And I ran!
I literally had run no more than a few feet until I heard a voice calling, “Son! Son, where are you? Come to me, Son!”
Those last words, spoken in such anguish, echoed through the woods bouncing from tree to tree until it struck my heart like a knife. It broke me straight to the core and there I lay shattered on the ground. I was not worthy to be his son. No, a good father deserves a good son and there was nothing good left in me.
Sadness overwhelmed me. I had hurt myself, but mostly I had hurt my father. I lay face down on the ground crying and saying the only words I could. “I’m sorry. Father, I’m so sorry.”
Then a voice, that same voice, my father’s voice, spoke. Interrupting my repetitious repentance. Slowly, I lifted my head and I could see my father’s shoes right before me. It cannot be! Raising myself and my gaze, I saw the signet ring upon his finger. Continuing upward, I saw his favorite purple robe. Then I saw his face.
His eyes pierced with love – true love – and I immediately hung my head in shame. I was not worthy of my father and he knew that. Then I noticed him reaching toward me. But his hand stopped midair as if something blocked him from going further.
Alarmed and desperate for his touch I reached for him. My hand stopped too with a thud and then I realized why. There was a barrier between us. I had put it there. It was my sin.
Devastated, I screamed and beat my chest. I pulled at my hair. Then dropped to my knees. In torment, I pounded the ground. In frustration, I pounded the invisible barrier. It didn’t budge. I crumbled. Defeated.
Looking at my father, I saw the agony in eyes. Separated by my sin, but not from his love. I knew in that moment nothing could separate me from his love.
My father spoke, this time with authority and determination. “I know what I must do. I will be back with the keys so you may enter my house again!”
“Where are you going?” I cried. But before I finished the question, he was gone. A letter sealed with his signet ring fell at my feet. I quickly grabbed the letter and sat down right there to read it.
Dear Son, my child of promise,
I love you. Nothing you’ve ever done and nothing you could ever do can separate you from my love. I long to hold you in my arms and take you into my house.
But your hands are defiled and your iniquities have made a separation between you and me. Your feet have ran to evil on crooked paths and there was no justice to be found.
For if I leave you in your sins, you will surely die. Your enemy will come and devour you. Therefore, I must go and take your place. I will give my life so you can have your’s. No greater love can I give you, but to lay down my life. For you.
Your Redeemer, Your Father
I read those words and I looked at my stained hands. I’m the one who deserves death. He who knows no sin is taking my place. He is rendering himself an offering for my own guilt.
I wanted to die and I collapsed, stricken by my own grief.
Lying on the ground as though dead, a light began to shine. It continued to get brighter and brighter when its brilliance woke me from my deep slumber. I heard a boom like a mighty peal of thunder saying, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? Arise, my son, for your light has come!”
I squinted through the light finding a different world. It was like being born a second time. A new beginning! I felt renewed! Restored, just as if I’d never sinned! The barrier had been torn. From top to bottom.
My father gently took my outreached arms and I noticed scars on each of his hands. Somehow I knew he had those because of me. He pulled me to my feet, enveloping me in a warm embrace. Rejoicing, we held each other tightly. When we pulled away, my father gave me his signet ring and he placed his favorite robe upon my shoulders.
“Instead of your shame,” he said, “you will have a double portion. For this day, I sought you out. I redeemed you from your sin and my kingdom is your inheritance. For this day, love has won!”
Smiling with a peace indescribable, I vowed then and there to bask in that love for all of eternity!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this narrative, but it’s more than just a story. For God so loved YOU that He gave His only Son so that when you believe in Him, you will not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16) If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, all you have to do is turn. Turn from your sin and repent. He will run to you and take you as His own son or daughter. He will clothe you in His righteousness and remember your sin no longer. Old things pass away and all things become new! There’s no greater love than that of our heavenly Father!
Also, I encourage you to check out these amazing videos/songs from Youtube. If the story didn’t touch your heart, these songs will!