Conntecting the Dots

What Does It Mean That God Pursues Us?

An interesting question came up recently in our small group: “What do you perceive God to be like?”

Varied answers followed:

“He’s a provider.”

“He feels distant.”

“He’s faithful.”

“He’s loving.”

Then came this response: “He’s a God who pursues us.”

God lavishes His love

While other world religions leave mankind believing we must pursue God with good works or outstanding character to gain His favor and forgiveness, Christianity teaches the opposite—God pursues us. He lavishes His love on us, not because we deserve it but because He cherishes us and wants relationship with us.

Imagine! God reached down from heaven and revealed His love to mankind through His Son Jesus Christ. By sending Jesus to pay our sin penalty through His death by crucifixion, God pursued the world with a love that knows no bounds. As if that weren’t enough, He also pursues us on an individual basis.

Hagar, an Egyptian slave, experienced God’s loving pursuit in her life. Genesis 16:7-9 tell the story of her running away from her abusive owner—Sarai, Abram’s wife. Pregnant, exhausted, discouraged, and afraid, she sat alone in the wilderness and wondered what might befall her. Her future appeared hopeless, but God, all-loving and all-knowing, showed up and engaged her in conversation:

“The angel of the LORD found Hagar beside a desert spring along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, ‘Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?’”

God pursues people in a myriad of ways. We hear stories of spiritual seekers who end up sitting beside Jesus followers on a plane, for instance, who unashamedly share the Gospel with them. Who ultimately arranges those seating plans? God—because He’s pursuing those unbelievers.

What about a man struggling with suicidal thoughts who receives a life-saving phone call from a friend at just the right moment? Or the young woman considering abortion who happens to hear a song with lyrics that speak to her heart’s need and convince her to keep her baby?

God pursues us because He wants relationship with us. He woos us through His written words. He draws us through the beauty of creation. He blesses us through the kindness of a friend or stranger. Do we recognize these things for what they are—God’s relentless pursuit of us so that we might experience Him?

3 Responses to “What Does It Mean That God Pursues Us?”

  1. Janet Person

    Grace, your words always hit home with me. I am a breast cancer thriver and have been healed from a 15 year bout of depression about 5 years ago. Breast cancer was easy in comparison to dealing with depression. With cancer, I always had hope. When in the deepest depths of depression, I had no hope and lost my connection with God. I stopped going to church, I couldn’t pray. One night, I was so desperate. I felt like God had forgotten me. It was around midnight, not a time when my young son would normally make his way into my bed. I couldn’t sleep and was crying out to God for some kind of acknowledgement that I mattered, that my life was worth living. Within moments of those thoughts, I heard the pitter patter of little feet on the hardwood floors making their way down the hallway. My son crawled into bed and cuddled up to me. His presence was so life affirming. I asked him why he had come at that time. His response, “Jesus sent me, Mama.” God did not stop pursuing me. He knew what I needed, when I needed it the most. It took me years to fully get over my depression, but I believe the seeds of my healing were planted that night.

    Reply
    • Grace Fox

      Oh, Janet. Thank you, thank you for sharing this story. Your words made me cry. This is a beautiful example of what I was trying to say about God pursuing us.

      Reply

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