There is a story that Jesus tells his listeners about a Prodigal Son, in Luke chapter 15. Each time that I have read the story I seem to have focused on the son. However, today I want to focus on the father.
If you are a parent, I am sure you try to do your very best for your children. You try to prepare them for the future and teach them manners, how to take care of themselves, to be wise in their decisions.
Let’s take a peek at this father. He has two grown sons that are helping to run the “business”. One day the younger son comes and tells the father he wishes he were dead so he could take the money that is due him and do his own thing. He is tired of living with his father and wants to go as far away from him as he can.
Now if you had a 4 or 5 year older this is possibly something they might say, but not a grown son. This must have cut the father to the very core of his heart. He doesn’t lash out, or remind the son of all he has done for him up to this point. No, he figures out what he would receive and gives it to the son.
He must have spent many days on his knees asking where was his mistake to have a son hate him so.
If he had had a cell phone I am sure he would check it periodically to see if he had missed a call or perhaps a text. As it was he was always looking in the direction that the son had left to see if perhaps he had changed his mind and was returning. (you know this because the story tells us that the father saw the son coming a long way off!)
When he saw his son coming he did something Jewish men never did, he hiked up his clothes and began running! He didn’t tell him “I told you so.” or “What are you doing back here?” No, he grabbed that young man and kissed him and hugged him.
This is exactly like our God! We ignore him. We tell him he doesn’t exist. We turn our backs on him. But just as this son in the story came to his senses and confessed his sins to his father, when we do that to God he is exactly like the father in the story.
He runs to us. Draws us into his arms of forgiveness, mercy, and love. He celebrates our “coming home!”
Do you need to turn around and head back to the Father?
He is waiting with open arms.