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The Day God Ran

Years ago, while I was doing security work, an off-duty police friend came by for a coffee. He was wearing a funny t-shirt with the logo: “Bomb Squad – if you see me running, try to keep up.”

When those in charge run and panic, where does that leave us?

Biblical theology makes it clear that God is omniscient and omnipresent – He knows all and is everywhere. God is sovereign.

So, it leads me to the question – If you are God, the almighty Creator of the universe, do you ever have to run, or be in a hurry?

Christians often say that God is never early and never late, and Jesus, while He walked on the earth, never seemed to either be in a hurry or panic about anything. I don’t remember Jesus ever running to do anything, ever!

I have never found a reference to God being in a hurry either in the Old or New Testaments – except in one passage – Luke 15.

Luke 15 contains three similar parables, the last being the greatest – the parable of the prodigal son.

The reason Jesus taught these are given in Luke 15:3:

And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, ‘this man receives sinners and eats with them‘” (NKJV).

Jesus contended with these religious leaders with three parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. Jesus was revealing God’s true heart when the “lost” were found.

In verse 5 the shepherd rejoiced at finding the lost sheep. In the second parable, the woman who had lost a coin diligently looked for it and after finding it called neighbours and friends to rejoice with her – had a party to celebrate! (verses 8-10).

The last and probably one of the best known of Christ’s parables is in Luke 15:11-32 – the prodigal (wasteful) son.

I want to focus on verse 20 – the day God ran:

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.”

There are so many things through this parable that speak of God’s desire to restore us. I just want to focus on the day God ran – the day He ran to redeem us.

Before this prodigal could utter one word of repentance, the father saw him at a great distance, and with compassion, he ran to him. “Ran” is from the Greek word “trekho” and means “to run or walk hastily”.

When we turn to God our Father in our brokenness and sin, He sees us while we are still a long way from home, and He runs hastily to embrace us.

I once shared this story at a prison; you could have heard the proverbial pin drop as I shared the only place in Scripture (that I am aware of) that God was in a hurry.

I believe that even at death’s door when a lost soul turns towards home, even while a great way off, the Father is running to redeem.

Who would not want to serve that kind of God!

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