Recently, my husband (whoa!! still not used to writing/saying that!) and I started a Bible reading plan together. To be honest, I was less than excited about reading through some of the old Testament books. Some of them are sooo long and sooo dry, I thought to myself before we began. Yet, every morning as I settle in and read about the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their often CRAY lives, I find myself utterly intrigued. And heartbroken. And laughing. And on the verge of tears.
Today, for instance, I read about the reuniting of Jacob and his estranged (and quite hairy) twin Esau. After some extremely sneaky and tense family affairs (which resulted in Esau wanting to kill Jacob, by the way) the brothers are reunited. One would think, and indeed one of them did, that there was going to be some blood at this bizarre reunion. And yet, after 20 years of hostile separation, what happens when Esau sees his rascal of a little brother walking before him? He runs to Jacob, and hugs him.
Can you imagine the emotions of those two twins? Driven from eachother because of deceit and violent anger in their younger years, now seeing each other again as grown men with wives and children and households of their own? I found myself desperately wanting to join in on this emotionally charged hug that that went on in the ancient dusty desert. Though the tears of those brothers fell thousands of years ago, I was reliving their bittersweet weeping as if it were happening right before me.
And so I sat there dazed on my couch. And I thought about the love and graciousness of God. How unfathomable God is. How much He loves us and desires that we know Him. How much He wants that we be blessed by His guidance and reassured by His presence and even His correction. How He substituted His only Son for us. How, because of Jesus, we can know the Father. I'm not even sure how to describe God, but I can tell you; it is the best thing in the universe to be loved by Him.
I can see myself in Jacob. Fearful after my mistakes. Pride, arrogance. And yet, what does God do when He sees my face? He begins to run.
What kind of grace is that? What, I ask you, is that?