Have you ever had a friend or loved one say to you, out of the blue: “Are you mad at me? Did I do something wrong?”

You may simply be quiet, deep in thought. So you answer, “No, I’m not mad. You didn’t do anything to hurt me. I’m just quiet right now.”

But they press you: “Was it something I said?”

“No, you didn’t say anything. All is right.”

Finally, to convince that person, you have to hug him: “Look, I love you—I’m not upset. But if you keep this up, you’re going to get me upset!”

Beloved, this is how we treat our heavenly Father! At the end of the day, we go to our secret closet and say: “Let’s see now, how did I grieve Jesus today? What did I do wrong —what did I forget to do? I’m such a mess, I don’t know how he can love me. Lord, forgive me one more time. Someday I’ll be so obedient, you’ll find it easy to love me.” But God is there all the time, waiting to embrace you! He wants to show you how much he loves you and he wants you to lie back and rest in his love!

When the prodigal son came home, he was welcomed back into his father’s house. He received a new robe, ate at his father’s table and had full forgiveness. The one thing this son knew was that he was secure in his father’s love! He knew his father would bear with him, work with him, love him. That’s how our heavenly Father is with us.

No matter how far we may stray from our Father, we have continued access to return. But we must believe what God’s Word says—he hath “made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).

He waits with outstretched arms to embrace all who accept their access and return to his love.