For most of my childhood, I lived across the road from my grandparents’ house.
If you were to drive down the road that separated our homes, you would notice a path that connected the two homes. This narrow trail, worn into the grass, stretched down the embankment from my family’s double-wide trailer, across the road, and up the steep, grassy hill that leveled off at my grandparents’ front yard.
I couldn’t begin to estimate the number of times my feet trod that skinny little path. I do know that it was often more than once a day. Getting off the school bus or waking up on a summer morning, I would quickly follow that slender line of bare dirt that connected our homes.
What brought me so often to my grandparents’ doorstep was love. But it’s not as though my own home was absent of love. No, I’m one of the blessed few that has experienced a deep, stable love from my parents and extended family. Nevertheless, there was a special bond I had with my father’s parents, Grandma and Grandpa. They helped care for me as a baby, so they are an important part of my earliest memories.
Grandma and Grandpa’s house didn’t have the best or coolest toys. As a matter of fact, I remember spending a great deal of time simply throwing a tennis ball on the roof and waiting to see if I could catch it before it hit the ground. Not exactly the most thrilling form of entertainment. But to be honest, I didn’t care about the absence of toys or the latest gaming system. What drew me day after day to my grandparents’ house was the joy of being utterly loved. There was no mistaking the fact that my grandparents loved me.
Many of you, I’m sure, have a relationship like the one I shared with my grandparents. It may be your own grandparents or just some neighbor down the street who took time to love you and care for you. When you have the blessing of experiencing this sort of free-flowing, unwavering love, you naturally want to spend time with that person.
The years of my childhood have passed, but memories of my time spent at that house in rural Mississippi still bring a grin to my face. Love does that to a person. It hangs with you.
What is even more striking about the abiding love my grandparents have shown me is the fact that it pales in comparison to the divine love that the Father has shown to me in Christ. His love is an eternal one, and it knows no bounds, coming at the cost of the perfectly righteous Son of God. God did not withhold the cup of His wrath from Jesus so that our relationship with Him could be restored.
As I climbed that hill to my grandparents’ house knowing that I was going to experience unconditional love, it is the same for those who have been united to Christ by faith. We can freely enter into communion with God without the expectation of wrath, but with the assurance of love and grace.
Yet, I far too often neglect communion with God through prayer. This seems to be the case for many Christians, and I think it is rooted in the fact that we truly don’t grasp the depth of God’s love poured out on us in Christ. Rather, we buy into the lie that God is waiting to smite us for that last sin we committed. Yes, God desires holiness in our lives; however, His love is not dependent on our actions, but Christ’s. Christ climbed the hill of Calvary so that we might climb Mount Zion, freely entering into the presence of the Lord where we find immeasurable grace and love.
Communion with the triune God is the greatest blessing we can experience. It is our heavenly reward, but it is also a present reality for followers of Christ. As you travel through the ups and downs of this life, may our prayer lives be a well-worn path to the heavenly throne room. There we experience true love and grace.
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Heb. 10:19–22).