Christmas is over and all the retailers are preparing for the rush of people returning gifts they received. Maybe the gifts were the wrong size or color; perhaps someone received gifts from different people that are the same or they started using the gift and found out that it was defective somehow; maybe the recipient just did not like the gift, there are many reasons a person may want to return something to the store to exchange it. The good thing about this time of year is that most retailers are more willing to accept exchanges with less fuss, without the receipts and work with people to make the process less of a hassle.
God lets us exchange without hesitation, but not only after Christmas. He allows us to exchange anytime. We can exchange our anger and sorrow for joy, our hate for love, our confusion for clarity and understanding. As it says in the song I have been hearing on the radio and He “take all that is wrong and make it right.” All we need to do is listen to Him and let Him have His will in our lives. Just follow where we know He is leading us.
If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Job 22:23
Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Lamentations 3:40
Yeah, the Lord takes returns and He does so gladly. He takes us with all our faults and sins, no matter how we have used and abused our souls. He takes the damaged and defective creatures and makes us new and perfect, that is a better exchange program than any store.
For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. 1 Peter 2:25
Just as in the parable of the prodigal son, the son is not only allowed to return but is welcomed back by his father with rejoicing, open arms and without judgement or criticism, without saying “I told you so.” That is how God does when we return to the life He wants for us and turn away from sin. He accepts us; He’s glad that we are back; and He doesn’t try to tell us He told us so. He rejoices that we did return. That’s how I aspire to be, I hope I prove myself worthy.
And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luke 15:20
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. Luke 15:32
Yes, I hope to be as the father here, as God our Father, and rejoice when a lost one returns. No other thoughts than how important it is to rejoice.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:34
Lord, I praise You for welcoming me back when I had strayed from You. Thank You for accepting me and not dwelling on my mistakes. Thank You for the mercy and grace You showed. I pray in the name of Jesus that I learn from You and from Christ’s words about the prodigal son whose return was met with only rejoicing and no other thoughts or concerns. That when I see other’s return to You, and Your will for them, that I not say or think about anything but rejoicing on their return. That all I think, say or do, be a reflection of the joy You feel and the way You respond when one returns to You. I ask that You draw us all to You so we may all know the perfect love and forgiveness You give and that we all know that it was paid for through the sacrifice of Your son, Jesus, when He died on the cross.
I hope all are enjoying the last of this current year and are blessed throughout the rest of this year and all of next year. Remember to try to be a blessing to someone as you go through your days.