Forgiveness is roughly defined as a pardon. It is truly the fulfillment of a need, the quenching of thirst, the payment of debt. When we seek forgiveness, we humble ourselves and put ourselves at the mercy of the one we have sinned against or taken advantage of.
God is a compassionate God. He loves unconditionally. He cares unconditionally. “He loves us enough to take us the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way.” God is filled with compassion when He sees one of His children rounding the bend. The Father runs. He doesn’t wait; He doesn’t walk. He runs. He covers the distance that would have been shameful and discouraging for us to walk. Once He sees us in sight, He immediately comes to us and meets us at our point of need. Only a Father of love and compassion could do such a thing. He sees us at our worst, yet He still accepts us and restores us to His household!
God is truly happy and pleased when we return. He doesn’t care about what happened “out there.” His son has come home. His daughter is alive! Our heavenly Father rejoices when just one lost sinner comes home. His joy overlooks the appearance of his child. His joy overlooks the wrongs. All he knows is that His son was lost and now is found. Yet not only the Father rejoices, but the whole household is involved in the celebration.
Let us not forget that we are forgiven. Let us never forget how the Father ran to us when we came to Him. When we draw near to God, God responds even before we understand what is happening. He responds with compassion, with joy, with mercy, with grace, and with blessing. May we never forget the cost; may we never return to what we once were. We have the ability to abide with the Father, from now to eternity.