At a memorial service for Eugene Peterson last November, his son Lief said the pastor/author for 50 years had one main message: “God loves you. He’s on your side. He’s coming after you. He’s relentless” (“Voices,” World Magazine, February 16, 2019, 64).
What a wonderful message and legacy for Eugene Peterson to leave. The author of The Message paraphrased translation of the Bible so many of us know and love, Peterson made sure in all his writing that we know that we are loved by God. And this memorial statement by his son reveals the depth of that love.
Even if we do not feel loved, we are loved by God, no matter what. Even if we feel like everything is against us. God is on our side. I have recently found great solace in the verse, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). God is always on our team.
Then when I hear the words “He is coming for you,” I cannot help but think of the loving Father who ran toward his repentant prodigal son to wrap his arms around him. He longs to reach out to you and embrace you just as you are, faults and all, because of the forgiveness won for us through Christ.
And he is relentless. He will not let you get lost or run away. Like the Good Shepherd, he leaves the 99 sheep behind until he finds the lost one. He will not stop seeking you out and being your Savior. I think of this verse from Isaiah 35:4: Say to those who are anxious in heart: “He will come and save you!” He has and he always will.