God is Looking for You

Trust and gratitude are disciplines for the conversion of the elder son. …

Without trust, I cannot let myself be found. Trust is that deep inner conviction that the Father wants me home. As long as I doubt that I am worth finding and put myself down as less loved than my younger brothers and sisters, I cannot be found. I have to keep saying to myself, “God is looking for you. He will go anywhere to find you. He loves you, he wants you home, he cannot rest unless he has you with him.”

There is a very strong, dark voice in me that says the opposite: “God isn’t really interested in me, he prefers the repentant sinner who comes home after his wild escapades. He doesn’t pay attention to me who has never left the house. He takes me for granted …”

At some point, I must totally disown my self-rejecting voice and claim the truth that God does indeed want to embrace me as much as he does my wayward brothers and sisters. … Living in this radical trust will open the way for God to realize my deepest desire.

Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son

Crying through the Commotion

sunset over the cityThere is a voice through earth’s wild clamor calling,
To all the heavy laden and oppressed,
Sweet as the cooling dew at even falling;
“Come unto Me and rest.”

It is the voice of Jesus still entreating,
To all the comfortless and all the sad;
Day after day His tender call repeating,
“Come unto Me and I will make you glad.”

There is a hand outstretched in tenderest pity,
Where all the weary and the wandering roam,
Waiting to lead them to the heavenly city,
To bring the homeless home.

It is the hand of Jesus, still upholding,
Strong to deliver, mighty still to keep;
And none shall pluck from out that safe enfolding,
The weakest one of all His blood-bought sheep.

There is a form that walks life’s stormy ocean,
Bidding the noise of wind and tempest cease;
Crying along through all the wild commotion,
“In Me ye shall have peace.”

Oh, it is Jesus coming o’er the waters,
As once He walked the waves of Galilee,
Speaking to all earth’s shipwrecked sons and daughters,
“Be not afraid; have faith, have faith in Me.”

There is a love that longs with deep affection
To gather all the soul-sick sons of men,
Beneath its wings of shelter and protection,
And give them health again.

It is the love of Jesus, sweet with longing,
His peace, His joy, His love the world to give;
Crying to all upon earth’s highways thronging,
“Come unto Me, come unto Me and fully live.”

– Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932)