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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lost and Found

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20 ESV)

I remember a time when I was younger and I had gotten bold and decided for myself I would walk home with a new friend (yes, someone I didn't know that well) instead of catching the bus to my house. Now back then, bus drivers knew their route kids and when we were not there, they would wait for a bit. I remember having to wait longer because the bus driver was waiting for me as then we took off on foot walking to her house. I couldn't have been there any longer than an hour and a half and had to head home. Now I knew the way home. But I walked slowly as I begin to realize that there would be discipline awaiting me there. Finally a few hours later, I returned home to my mom opening the door and yelling at me. Of course, back then I didn't realize the fear but only focused on the yelling. But what I realize now is that she opened the door as I walked up to it. I didn't make a lot of noise; I didn't even get to knock. She had a child missing, a prodigal daughter, and she was awaiting my arrival, meaning she knew I was coming home. 

There is a story in the Bible about a prodigal (reckless, lost) son who had gotten his inheritance, left, squandered it, went broke, worked for menial pennies in low jobs and then returned to his dad with a repentant heart. Let’s break that down just a bit, shall we? He got his inheritance from his DAD which meant his dad was still alive. Aren't we supposed to get that when someone dies? This boy had greed and restlessness growing in him for awhile. But let’s also look at the flip side! When he returned, not sure how many catch this, his dad saw him from a distance. You know what that tells me? His dad was looking for him! His dad didn't just see someone and say someone's coming. No! He recognized him from a distance! How many parents know our children?! I have adopted kids in our church and I can see them with their backs turned and know that it’s them walking! A parent’s recognition is better than any of these recognition tools out here today!! We know!! And if we are expecting out kids home, much like this father, we will be standing watch! 

Isn't that how our ABBA is?! He stands watch for when we return from our ridiculous, reckless and sinful ways. And then He recognizes us as His sons and daughters and greets us with love! There is no, "Well it's about time!" or expletives being shot at us or even condemnation readily flowing our way about what we have done and how messed up we are. Or worse still, silence when we return. No, He runs to us with open arms, greets us with hugs and kisses and has a celebration for us! How awesome is that?!

Do you have an area of your life that has You feeling like God is far from you? Maybe you received a blessing from Him, squandered it and are now left with an empty home, wallet or life. At what point do you say, as this prodigal said when it started getting dark and I had to walk or the prodigal son in the Bible, "What am I doing? How much more are people being blessed even though they have little and I'm starving myself?" God loves you even if you don't love yourself! God remembers you and waits for you to remember Him and return to Him. He won't even make you come 90 and Him 10. Take the first step in turning from your sins and I guarantee you will know He is with you.

Father, Your love for us is unexplainable! Even though we constantly do wrong, make bad choices, ignore Your voice and demand to have a "Have it your way" life, You still love us! You long for communion with us and wait for our return to You when we wander. When we return You meet us where we are at and shower us with Your love! Thank You for that! Forgive us because we have sinned against You and thank You that condemnation and questioning doesn't come out to meet us with You! Lord, thank You for Your patience with us, continue to show us Your grace and mercy! In Jesus name! Amen!