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Intentional Love

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Beautiful young girl sitting on asphaltI love the Bible parable, The Prodigal Son. Nothing touches my heart more than to know our Heavenly Father eagerly waits to receive and forgive those who have drifted away. God’s intentional love breaks all reason.

If you read the story, you’ll notice that no one convinced the son to return home. He suddenly “came to his senses” and everything became clear (Luke 15:17). God often uses people to help the lost find their way back, but it’s not because He needs assistance. God enjoys partnering with us so we can share in the celebration.  

When I was growing up, parochial school painted a scary picture of God, and He seemed like a dictator. I thought only martyrs were loved by God, and I didn’t want His affections that badly.  

As an adult, God was somewhere beyond the clouds, and that worked for me. I lived in the epicenter of sinfulness—not a place I would expect to find God. My lifestyle of parties, alcohol, and drugs replayed like a low-budget movie. I felt empty. I was in the hamster-wheel of life going nowhere—work, eat, and sleep. It seemed futile.

I became restless. I decided to temper my lifestyle and enrolled in an art class. I thought a hobby would add meaning to my life.

One weekend, I stayed home and flipped TV channels to occupy my time. I stumbled on a television show with a contemporary Christian singers—Amy Grant. She was singing to God, and it sounded as if she loved Him, knew Him. I started thinking about God, and I soon found myself in a church, but it gave me the creeps. I felt so out of place, and it reminded me of the religious environment I knew as a child. I didn’t stay, but I grabbed a few pamphlets on my way out.

On my 27th birthday, I didn’t go out and party. I stayed home and picked up one of the church pamphlets. I can’t remember what I read, but the words on the page unlocked God’s message of love. He knew me, and He loved me. 

His love flooded my heart, and all I could do was bow my head, close my eyes, and sob. God’s love was so powerful in my studio apartment. He loved me. But, why? I was afraid to open my eyes because I was sure He would be standing there.

I kept repeating, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”

That day, September 29th, 1985, no one said, Repeat after me. No one was present except God’s intentional love. I apologized for my reckless living, and I asked God to show me how to follow Him. I came to my senses, and I never looked back.

If you’re praying for a prodigal, God’s intentional love will reach them. He’s that big, that merciful, and that wonderful. He will help them come to their senses

Have a blessed weekend.

Jetrel © Crestock



God’s intentional love breaks all reason @MarisaShadrick (Click to Tweet)

God enjoys partnering with us so we can share in the celebration @MarisaShadrick (Click to Tweet)


New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995.

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