I don’t consider myself to be a reckless person. Bungee jumping, parachuting, sky diving, roller coasters — all of these seem reckless to me. These are things I might participate in but all of them are steeped in risk. I know there are others who would not consider these to be risky activities. I agree to disagree.
When I consider God and his interaction with humankind, his actions seem a bit outrageous, perhaps reckless. While I live my life, calculating risk in every area, it seems God jumped right in there and willingly took a risk to break the yoke of sin and death. What kind of love would motivate complete abandonment of personal comfort to secure another’s freedom?
Once access to God through Jesus was restored, he keeps searching for me (Jesus’ parable of the shepherd who leaves the 99 to find the 1 who wandered off); remains faithful to me when I wander (read Hosea and learn of God’s faithfulness to Israel even when she followed after other gods); never forgets his promises (Genesis 12 promises a Redeemer who appears thousands of years later).
God’s interaction with me is nothing less than outrageously reckless by human standards. I tend to write someone off after one or two negative encounters. Shucks, I have been written off after one or two negative encounters. I certainly don’t show the same commitment to relationship exemplified by God in both the Old and New Testament.
As I meditate on this concept of reckless grace, David comes to mind immediately. He commited adultery with Bathsheba and then murdered her husband to cover it up and it all started with shirking responsibility as the king. According to the law, David should have been stoned along with Bathsheba. And yet, God showed grace. (See 2 Samuel 11 for the full account.)
Earlier in Israel’s history, Rahab the prostitute, concealed Joshua’s men and was rewarded with her life. Her only act of obedience was to hang the scarlet rope from her window and when the walls of the city collapsed, she and her family were saved from destruction. Not only was she included in the kingdom of Israel, she played a pivotal role in the genealogy of Jesus as the mother of Boaz who was the great-grandfather of David. (Matthew 1:5-6)
I can only believe that God sees something different when he looks at people than what I see. When I examine Rahab and David, I see adulterers, murderers, compromisers. God sees obedient, humble, repentant, a man after God’s heart, promise, future.
So was God really taking a risk when he sent Jesus? He knew that some would respond, some would take him up on his outrageous offer, some would be restored. Others would not. But for those who respond, it is worth it all!
Sunday in our worship service we sang “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury. I was challenged to consider my response to God’s outrageous love for me — for all humankind. Does he really relentlessly pursue me like this? Am I afraid to be found? Am I comfortable having the lies in my life dismantled? What is the most uncomfortable aspect of this kind of love?
What about you? Are you hiding from God? Behind lies, wounds, walls? He never gives up on you because what he sees when he looks at you is possibility and future! Wow! And he pursues you tirelessly!