from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD
When pursuing His wayward children, God doesn’t protect His dignity. He isn’t coy. He doesn’t play hard-to-get.
“I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’
To a nation which did not call on My name.
I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,
A people who continually provoke Me to My face.” (Isaiah 65:1-3, NASB)
They have wronged God, yet He takes the initiative to make their relationship right again. While they blindly, stubbornly ignore Him, He continues to pursue them, calling out, “Here I am! Here I am!”
Many believers have looked back on their conversion and have seen God this way: before they knew Him or cared about Him, even while they ran from Him, He patiently, persistently pursued them.
C.S. Lewis testified to such a God in his spiritual autobiography, Surprised by Joy. But perhaps the most famous testimony is a poem whose very title portrays such a pursuing God: “The Hound of Heaven,” by Francis Thompson (1859-1907). It opens this way:
“I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him…
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after…
With unhurrying chase
And unperturbed pace.”
The poem seems difficult and dated to modern readers, but it poignantly captures how God shamelessly chased His rebellious child. The child fled out of fear and ignorance, afraid of the God who only wanted his best. God pursued him as a hunting dog would, never giving up.
That is the God who pursued you…and still pursues your best. He is pursuing your neighbor, your co-worker, the person ahead of you in traffic, and that one who seems a million miles away from Him. He is pursuing your children, and He’ll pursue their children, and their children’s children, always calling out “Here I am! Here I am!”