For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. – Hebrews 2:10
My older son who has served in the Army for the last four years is exiting the military and moving to Arlington next week so he will soon be much closer to me. My younger son, Jeremy, just returned to Austin after working in Houston for a year.
Though Jeremy and I did not have a broken relationship at this time, still I am ecstatic that I am watching him talk with my wife on our back patio as I write this. I can relate to the father of the prodigal son on just how wonderful it is to have your son with you. Luke 15:11-31
When we think of the mercies of God, we sometimes think of them in terms of self. But our God is relational to his very essence. The trinity contains Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together as one. God’s very glory – which he is all about exclaiming to all creation – is completely wrapped up in expanding his household with many sons and daughters.
It is a form of suffering to have children grow up, depart your home to live and find their own way. It is suffering to be apart from them but it is glorious to watch what God is doing in their lives – though it is often terrifying too. We often think God’s mercies are about providing us comfort and they do, but God’s mercy is born out of the suffering of his holiness. It cost God everything to provide mercy to us and it is far more valuable and rich than our desire for an easy life.
God is willing to forgo comfort, he is willing to pay the cost of mercy to give us his love. The father of the prodigal son gave everything to gain his son, not just the riches, but the son himself. It is heart-wrenching to let your child go to where they want – especially when you scared that it may not go well for them. I’m confident that the father is the story did not find complete comfort a single day while his son was gone.
God longs to have us in his home so much he gave up Jesus to come and gain us and waits patiently for our return. Because Jesus came, we are one with him and he is one with us. We can boldly call him brother and be assured we can call God our Father. This is a real mercy and real grace – seeing our Father and knowing he sees us fully as his children no matter where we are in this world and no matter what the world throws at us.
- What mercies of God can you see today right in front of you? What is less clear?
- What sufferings have you experienced that ended in God’s mercies. Fill free to share your experiences.