Ridiculous Reconciliation

Ecclesiastes 3:15 says, "God seeks what has been driven away." Doesn't that hit you like a ton of bricks? Sometimes we will seek what has been driven away, if it is a child or parent who is estranged or maybe a friend, but if we're honest we start to become hard-hearted and we quickly write off relationships.

But not our God. Throughout the Bible He is the God of Restoration and Reconciliation. This applies to individual relationships and entire people groups. God seeks to bring together what has been torn apart - marriages, families and communities. The entire Old Testament is an account of humanity separating themselves from the Lord and His promise to bring them back into His love and care. The New Testament is the account of ultimate grace and forgiveness toward humanity with the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The result of the brokenness and sin leads to hurt and problems between people. With reliance on the Lord and realization of His grace and forgiveness, we as humans can repair and reconstruct our earthly families. Examples of this sort of radical repair are found throughout scripture, like Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, or Jesus and Peter.

It all seems ridiculous to me. We don't deserve the second, third or 24th chances. We ignore God, take his name and love in vain yet, over and over, God says to us, "If you seek me, you will find me, and I will restore you to me and restore you fortunes and all that has been lost." (Jeremiah 29:11-14) Have I ever offered this radical grace to my fellow human beings?

In some areas of my life, I can answer a confident "yes". My marriage has benefited from the cleansing of God's grace, but if I'm honest, I'm not so willing in other areas of my life. There are other broken relationships that deserve the same love and care. To be fair, it's all a process. I remember hearing one Christian counselor saying it even took the Lord several thousand years to send Christ to the planet after the Fall of Man. Even the Lord worked out a plan and a process. But do I, like God, seek what has been driven away? Powerful and convicting.

Even if you're nowhere near reconciling with those in your life who have hurt you (or whom you have hurt), here is some hope. God is willing to reconcile with you. I have a lot of friends and family who think they've strayed too far from God to ever find themselves within His graces again. Not so. He is seeking you this very moment. And perhaps with that knowledge and the sense of His love and grace, you might begin the process of ridiculous restoration with those in your life you long to know again.

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