C. S. Lewis, the British intellect who had all these intellectual problems with believing in God, was almost wrestled into a relationship with God. God would not stop pursuing him. Lewis said, “Picture me alone in my room night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet…The Prodigal son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape?” Lewis’s testimony is like so many others; He could not escape God. John Stott, who borrows a phrase from Francis Thompson, refers to Jesus as “The Hound of Heaven” in his book Why I Am a Christian
Jesus pursued him relentlessly even when Stott was running away from Him. At least, you think that Jesus would get the hint and leave you alone. But He doesn’t; He pursues us relentlessly. Stott finally surrendered to the embrace of the Tremendous Lover. And Stott shares if it were not for the gracious pursuit of the Hound of Heaven, “I would today be on the scrapheap of wasted and discarded lives.” God is not a passive deity hiding in His throne room; He is on your trail. No, He does not wait impatiently for you to say “Yes” to his invitation to a place at His table and then turn to abandon you in favor of other sport. The truth is that the grand chase never ends until you are all He meant you to be. You will be amazed at what extent He will go to reach you. God is wild in His pursuit, and will even become a baby to reach you or die a criminal’s death. He loves so recklessly with the torn, broken, lacerated, spit-covered, blood-drenched body of Jesus as just a hint of His love. There’s no refuge from the love of God. You can’t escape it – see Psalm 139. He’s wild about you! Novelist Reynolds Price said there is one sentence all humankind craves to hear: ‘The Maker of all things loves and wants me’ (Yancey, The Bible Jesus Read 206.)” I share a Brennan Manning quote: “Some things are understood not by grasping but by allowing oneself to be grasped.” Allow yourself to be grasped by love.