Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Saviour While My Heart Is Tender"1 (Lyrics)
Romans 8:38 – And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow — not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. (NLT)
The police gave my brother a choice — either join the navy or go to jail. He was just sixteen, but he'd fallen in with the wrong crowd and had been the wheelman when they were stealing speakers from a drive-in movie theatre. My father cut him right out of the family, and my brother went off to Vietnam at the height of the war. Returning, he couldn't seem to find work till he saw a small ad in the classifieds wanting a mechanic to run the physical plant for a brand-new bank.
He sent it to me, and I wrote him a resume and cover letter, but I warned him that the ad was too general. There would be hundreds of applicants. His only hope was to get our father to back him officially, as that versatile individual — our father — had taught himself civil engineering in his spare time, and now was licensed.
"But he won't talk to me," he said.
"Ask for his help," I counselled. "Tell him again how sorry you are and show him what I wrote." What I'd written was an offer for him to job-share with my father. The bank would be getting two employees — a young navy mechanic (mostly helicopters) and a licensed civil engineer, all for the one salary. Then I prayed as my brother went one more time to ask our father's forgiveness and show him this opportunity.
On the verge of retirement and heartsick over their estrangement, my father jumped at the chance (as did the bank). Trust between my father and brother was restored, and they worked in peace together for the rest of their lives.
Unlike my human father, our forgiving heavenly Father never gives up on us. It is as though every single one of us is the only child that God has. His focus is on us, hearing when we call, delivering us from evil till our cup of blessings runs over. God's goodness and mercy follows us all the days of our lives. When we call for help, He is there, responding in love and forgiveness. In return, we have the privilege of walking with Him daily, following as He directs and leads.
Psalm 91:15 – He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. [KJV]
Prayer: Dear Father, how happy are we who know Your forgiveness personally! For those of us who have not yet found it, help us to experience Your salvation. Thank You for letting us learn by experience and faith that You always hear and answer. Cause our trust to grow deeper and stronger as we see Your promises come true. We are grateful for the gift of family. Help us to be conscious of their needs and reflect Your love to them as we share our lives together. Amen.