We all love the story of the prodigal.  We love the story of his return home, of his father running to meet him with open arms, of his graceful reacceptance and joyful reception.  We love to picture the gathering of friends and family to celebrate.  We can even almost hear him singing “Amazing Grace. How sweet the sound!  That saved a wretch like me… I once was lost… but now I’m found… was blind… but now I see!

I wonder what the prodigal son felt as he made the journey “home”.  I put that in quotes because I bet on his way back, he probably doubted if he would even be accepted or allowed to serve his father as a slave, certainly not to dwell in the house as a son.  I’m sure that his shame tried to keep him still with offers of false security.  Even worse, the prodigal probably heard his false sense of freedom claiming that he’d never be “free again” through sacrifice and obedience.

There must have been a deeper calling, though.  He must have felt a greater need than to appear right in his own eyes or to be protected from the pain of wounded pride.  He must have felt the depths of misfortune, and I wonder if he recognized  those trials as discipline in disguise… tools to transform a selfish man into a shameless servant.

Have you felt like the prodigal son too?  If we were all honest, I bet we all would admit a time in our lives when we ran away and feared return.  Remember though, there is no fear in love for perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).  So if you find yourself away from the home of God’s heart, return to God and find that in resting in Him and in the sacrifice of His Son, you will be saved (Isaiah 30:15).  Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8)!

psalm 37.23-24

Run into the arms of the Father and find that He will never let you go…

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