February 28 – James 4:8

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

James 4:8

One of my favorite things in all of life is for my daughter to curl up in my lap while I am sitting on a chair. She doesn’t do it often, but there is something special about a child wanting to be close to their Dad. It is a place in her life that I want her to know she is always welcome. I am reminded of a story in Luke 15 about a dad and his son. The son takes off with family money that doesn’t technically belong to him yet. He doesn’t put it in a bank or use it to help people. He wastes it on himself. It says that he “squanders it on wild living”. His selfish decision leaves him all alone. It hurts the family, and it hurts his dad. But that doesn’t stop his dad from looking out the window every day hoping to see his son off in the distance making his way home. One of those days, when he is looking out that window, he sees his child walking in his direction. He jumps out of the house and runs as fast as he can to embrace his son.

It is a story about grace, repentance, and forgiveness. It is a story about a son who wandered away, but he’s never too far to come home. It is a story about a father who is desperately waiting to feel the embrace of his child. It is a story that sounds a lot like this promise in James 4:8, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” What a promise.