It was a horribly sad day in their marriage. Seductively, Jack was called and enticed. Foolishly, he was led by his loins. Recklessly, Jack forsook he his marital vows. Tragically, he betrayed his precious bride. Loving himself, hating his wife, and harming his children, Jack engaged in a sordid affair, and he did so with Diane’s greatest enemy. What a horribly sad ending to a fantastic beginning!
If Jack had stuck a knife in Diane’s back, she would not have hurt less. Her heart is broken. Her soul is crushed. Her beloved has given himself to another. Jack has flagrantly forsaken her. He has left her affectionate arms and jumped in the lap of a whore. Diane is angry. She is justified in being so. In addition, she is utterly grief stricken. It is hard for her to catch her breath. The weight on her chest is crushing. What a horribly sad ending to a fantastic beginning!
However, Diane is not the only one miserable. Oh sure, Jack has enjoyed the taste of sin for a moment, but he is left with a horrible aftertaste. Now, after the fling, the sordid woman proves to be dissatisfying, even disgusting. And the guilt-level in Jack’s chest is off the charts. Diane has been so loving to him — relationally, emotionally, and physically. She has always had him and his best interests on her mind. And Diane has been so faithful. He is such a dog! And now, his soul is broken. So too is his body, for he has just found out he has concocted a horrible disease as a result of his sinful encounter. His reputation is sullied. His children are harmed. His relationship with Diane is ruined. His present is bad, and his future is worse. What a whoremonger! What an unfaithful loser. What a sinner! What a horribly sad ending to a fantastic beginning!
Depressed, dissatisfied, and broken, Jack takes off. On his way out of town, he first stops at the liquor store. He has to find something to numb the pain and the consequences. Then, under a false name he checks into a weekly motel. There he hides. There he cries. There he passes out, in the dark, under the covers, next to his almost empty bottle of cheap whisky.
However, there is a knock at the door. From outside a tender, emotional, pleading voice is heard:
“Jack, I have found you. Honey, please open the door. I have sworn to love you — for better or worse. I refuse to live without you. Oh, I am so angry at that Jezebel. I am so angry at you. I am thoroughly enraged at your sin. However, I have chosen not to pour out my wrath on you. I will suck it up. I will take the abuse upon myself and grant you grace. I make this promise to you; I will not give you what you deserve. I will not bring this up again. I will treat you like my faithful husband who has never had eyes for another. Jack, I am keeping my vows; there is nothing you can do to cause me to turn away from you. But more than that, I am following my heart, and my heart is set on you. I love you. I want you. I am here for you. Jack, my dear unfaithful Jack, quit covering your head. Quit covering your sin. Stop your attempts at self-soothing. Jack, I stand her tenderly knocking. And if you will not let me in, I swear I’ll go get a key from the front desk. If I have to I will tear down this door. Jack, my beloved Jack, come open the door and let me warm you with my embrace. I am yours; you are mine; we are destined to walk together.”
What happens next is so intimate and reverent. Jack goes to the door, he falls on his knees, and he begins to speak. But before he can utter a word, Diane is on the floor in his arms. Initially there are tears – many, many tears. Then there are tender words of confession and pardon. And yes, there is even laughter and renewed physical intimacy. Jack is pursued. Jack is called. Jack is forgiven. Jack is restored. Why? Because Diane chooses to bear the crushing blow and grant to Jack that which he does not deserve.
Since then, Jack is not always perfect. Sadly, he still sins against Diane in affection, thought, word, and deed. However, he is becoming quicker and more affectionate in his repentance, and Diane is always willing to forgive. Why? Not because she is unaffected by his wickedness. Not because Jack deserves it. But only because she loves him with an unconditional, undying, undeserved, covenantal love. She has promised to love him for better or for worse. And in addition, she cannot get enough of her beloved; she is crazy about him. She is determined to have a fantastic ending to her horrible story!
Friends, in some sense, this is the story of God in relation to Adam and Eve:
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:6-10)
I must tell you, this is the story of Jesus in relation to Joe Franks. I am an unworthy dog unconditionally loved by a gracious Savior.
I get to tell you, this is the story of those in my church. We are all prodigal idiots redeemed by a always loving Father.
I can offer this to you. The Lord Jesus Christ stands at the door. He has pursued you though you have been the dog. He longs to forgive, comfort, and warm you with his embrace. I urge you friends — leave the whore named Satan. Quit running, hiding, covering, and self-soothing. Embrace your Lover and be receive his unconditional, undying, undeserved, covenantal love. Relish in the fact that he is crazy for you. He is dying to be with you; as a matter of fact, he has died to be with you. I know this is radical. I know it is crazy. Such a love is ridiculous … but such a lover is standing at the door. Will you make him go get a key? Will you make him tear down the door? No, open the door and experience his gracious embrace.
Finally, I can remind you of this. All of us have played the role of Jack over and over again. Though we have experienced the undeserved love of Jesus, we have forsaken our beloved and jumped back in the lap of Jezebel. Well, it is my joy to tell you the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. It is my joy to tell you that Jesus is immutable in his affections. So what ought you to do? Be reminded of the unconditional, undying, undeserved, covenantal love of your Savior, and repent again. He is always pursuing us. He can’t get enough of us. He is dying to be with us; as a matter of fact he has died to be with us. Repent, enjoy grace, and endeavor to be a more faithful worshiper. Live as someone unconditionally loved. Worship as people who are destined to have a fantastic ending to a horrible story.
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