But the God of all comfort
And the Prince of all Peace
You came running
You saw what was shattered
The depth of my need
And came running
You came running
~You Came Running, by Laura Story
The first time I heard these lyrics I wasn’t sure I liked them. I didn’t like the suggestion that God would wait until He “saw what was shattered, the depth of my need” before He would come to me. Because that might mean that God was absent in the ‘before’, when things were good, or when things were only starting to get bad.
But what if it’s like the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:11-32). The son walked out on his father, and got himself into trouble. He eventually decides to turn around and return to his father. And what was the father’s response when he saw his son returning in the distance? The father ran to him, the father came to him running (v20).
And was the father ever not his father? No. What was it that created the separation between father and son? The son. What happened when the son no longer wanted that separation? The father sped up the reunion by running to the son.
I read recently (and annoyingly can’t remember where!) the important role that the Holy Spirit plays in preparing someone’s heart to hear the gospel for the first time. And not just hearing in the sense of using one’s ears, but that deep hearing and knowing that leads to conversion. That it’s not up to the individual to go to God, but that initially God goes to them.
Last night someone sent me the following questions and thoughts…
Does God wait for us to come?
Do we need to come to God?
Maybe God meets us where we are too.
Even in the hopeless places.
I think God comes to us.
I think where my friend’s thoughts led them is correct. God comes to us. But more than that, God is always with us. God is big and He is everywhere. Where in the ocean is there no water? But if you were a fish in the ocean, you likely wouldn’t realize that you were in water until someone else pointed it out to you, because you were just existing in the world you had always known.
And there are currents in the ocean. Times when you are made aware of the presence of this omnipresent being and the power that it has, even though you still may not understand it or even be able to identify it.
I think that is what God is like. He is always present, in both the good and the bad. Sometimes He just makes His presence more known to us than in other moments. Yes, we can make a conscious effort to be more aware of His presence, but the onus is never on us to “come to God”. If God wants Himself known to us, He will come to us, and He will come running.