A family of beavers has decided to make their home in our creek. It’s not that I have anything personal against beavers, they aren’t ugly like possums or messy like raccoons or repulsive like skunks. I admire their work ethic and engineering ability. But did they really have to chew down all those trees and dam up the culvert? They just have to go. Not having the skills needed to trap beavers we searched for and called on an expert to come help us. He walked the land, gave us some lessons on beaver behavior, showed us an old lodge that has since fallen in, and basically told us that we need to wait until next fall when they start going after trees again. One of life’s lessons is knowing the right person for the problem at hand. You don’t call a plumber to fix your car, an electrician to do lawn care, or a mechanic to work on your computer. So why do we call on everything and everyone other than God when He’s the right person for our problem?
In one of David’s psalms he writes, “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.” (Psalm 86:5, NASB95) In this verse, David recognizes God’s “expertise” in three areas. God is good. When we need guidance and wisdom God is good. Jesus taught, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11, NASB95) We can trust God and His goodness. God will not steer us wrong. God is ready to forgive. Other psalms with similar phrasing mention God’s mercy, grace, and compassion. (Psalm 103:8, Psalm 145:8) God is graciously ready to forgive our failures, stupidity, and sin through Jesus Christ. We don’t buy forgiveness, it has already been paid for. It is a gift that God is anxiously waiting to provide so He can welcome home those who have wandered. God is overflowing with lovingkindness. That word, lovingkindness, is kind of special. Not only does God feel love in a “I love so much it hurts” kind of way but He acts on His love. He doesn’t just say it, He really means it. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NASB95) How do we access and receive God’s goodness, forgiveness, compassion, mercy, grace, and lovingkindness? We call on Him.
I think that the Parable of the Prodigal Son pictures this best. (Luke 15:11-32) The story focuses on the son and what he was going through. But notice that the father was looking, hoping, searching for his son to return home. The father in the story is a picture of what we’ve been talking about. When did the wayward son receive the father’s grace, forgiveness, and lovingkindness? When he turned his heart towards home. The son knew he was unworthy, didn’t deserve anything, and had no expectation of being renewed. What he received was far beyond his wildest dreams. So, who are you going to call when your dreams are shattered, when you are drowning in the consequences of selfishness, when you’ve been beaten up and left for dead by those you called friends, when nothing seems to matter anymore, when the mountain of trouble in your life is taller than Mt. Everest and larger than Denali? I’m calling in the expert who is only a quiet prayer away. What about you?