After getting home a few days ago from playing basketball, I was dripping in sweat but still wanted to make sure I kissed my kids goodnight before they fell asleep. When I went in and found them snug in bed, I tried to hug and kiss my 6-year old son when he responded “Dad, you’re so sweaty,” almost pushing me away while laughing (and quite frankly I could not blame him). What happened next left me puzzled and thinking. My daughter, his twin sister, ran across the room, gave me the biggest hug, and started kissing me. She then blurted out, “yummm, your sweat tastes like sprinkles.” Although I would love to believe that my sweat tastes like sprinkles (and there is the slight possibility that she was right), the truth is that my daughters love for me allowed her to love me in spite of sweaty and smelly I was that night.
After tucking them in and getting cleaned up, I sat in bed and thought about how sometimes we can feel almost pushed away by God when we come to Him all spiritually stinky and sweaty. What we do not realize is that God is waiting for us, ready to smother us with His love. Unfortunately our feelings oftentimes get the best of us though and distort our image of God’s love for us.
The Bible tells us a story about just how beyond amazing God’s love is. Jesus wanted to help His disciples understand the greatness of the Father’s love, so He told them about a father who had two sons. One of the sons decided to take all the money he could get from his dad and use it in a way that ended up making him (the son) all stinky and sweaty. When he realized how nasty he had become, the son decided he wanted to turn things around. The only issue was that he felt when he went back to his father’s house, his dad might not accept him. Since he clearly felt unclean – and not good enough to be back at home – he concocted this big plan about how he would just throw himself before his Father and ask that he be allowed to serve in the house. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)
The truth is, it did not matter how spiritually stinky and sweaty he was. He was still his son and the father wanted to make sure his son knew this. He did not stop at that; he ended up throwing a huge party for his son and welcomed him back home with no questions asked. You might imagine that as a result of experiencing such an amazing type of love that the son never thought of leaving again.
Next time you feel like you are not good enough to come to the Father, remember that He is waiting to embrace you lovingly, even as you come to Him all sweaty and stinky.
Purpose in your heart today to seek out the depth of God’s love in the Father’s House!