No Matter How You Have Treated God, You Can Come Home
“I wish you were dead,” he said to his dad. “Then I could just have all of this for myself. I want to go out on my own, but I have to wait for you to die.”
Sad Father eyes. “If you want your inheritance now, it’s yours. You can go now and begin your life.”
Rejoicing son eyes.
The son went on his way to start his life. No longer under the shadow of his father’s name. No longer just the younger son of this important family. Now life was his.
He made friends. He partied. He wined and dined. He had fun. He was the important one now. People knew his name because of what he did, not because of whose son he was.
But, the money ran out. Then the friends did.
Alone. No one. No thing.
He got a job feeding pigs. It was the worst possible job, but the best he could find without any true skills.
The pay was minimal. He was still homeless. Still hungry.
The slop. It looked good. If he could swallow it down, he wouldn’t die.
Then he remembered his family’s farm. His father was a kind man who always had a meal for his servants while they worked. It would be better to work for his father than to eat the slop for the pigs. If he could swallow his shame down, he wouldn’t die.
So, he began the journey back. Fear about his father’s reaction outweighed by a simple desire to live. Surely his father would at least take him back as a servant. His father was a kind man.
When he was still a ways off, he saw someone running towards him.
It was his father.
Shame. Fear. Guilt.
Stopped in his tracks, he knelt to receive the blow.
His father crushed him. With love.
Father wrapped a garment around his son. Father wrapped his love around his son. Father called for all to see his son had returned. Father called for a party for his son who had been lost. Father celebrated.
No matter how we have treated the Father. Father calls for us. He wraps us in his love. He has a party. For we have returned.
When I was far from God, mad that He had allowed pain in my life, I set out on my own. After time, I wished to return but wondered the reception I would receive. After years of the cold shoulder, surely He wouldn’t be excited about me. Yet when I journeyed back, but while I was still a long way off, He opened His arms to meet me.
Forgiveness abounds. Don’t let the lies of the Enemy tell you that you can’t come back.
Our worth is not about how we have treated God but about whose we are: His.