Friday, December 10, 2010
The one with the prodigal son
While I was home for Thanksgiving I had the opportunity to go visit some family in a town I used to live in when I was a little kid. I was going driving from one grandparents house to the other when I came to a road that I knew would lead to my old babysitter's house. I decided to turn down it and it was as if I was transported back to sitting in my dad's little Ford pick-up and I wasn't tall enough for my feet to reach the floorboard yet. Passing by the house there were so many things that were the same: the tree next to their house where we would sit under in the shade was still there, the swimming pool we would play in was there, and they still had a huge barn. There were a few things that were different and one major thing was that the road in front of their house was now paved. I remember when I was little that the road was gravel and you could see dust clouds from cars way off in the distance as they billowed down the gravel road.
I remember a few times we would be sitting outside on the front step or under the tree and it would be about the time our parents would come to pick us up. We would see a dust cloud start forming and our excitement would start to rise as we hoped that it was our parents. It wasn't that we thought our parents weren't going to come back...I'm sure a few times they wished they wouldn't have...but we were excited that they were coming back. As the vehicles would get closer we would begin to see if it was our parents or not. After being disappointed that it wasn't one of our parents....there was always that moment where we would catch the first glimpse of our parents car. Our little bodies would overflow with joy that our parents were there. Most of the time they'd open up the car door and we'd come running to them to hug them and tell them how much we missed them.
This whole thought got me thinking about the story of The Prodigal Son. How the Father waited for his son to return and despite all the events that had transpired while the son was away. The son returned with apologies and asking for forgiveness, but the Father wrapped His arms around him and didn't care about all the other stuff. His son was back and that was all that mattered to Him.
We all know this is how God loves us. When we turn our backs and walk away and do our own thing He waits patiently for us to return to Him. When we return to Him He couldn't be happier to see us return to Him. The next time you see a child run to his/her parents after being left in daycare or Sunday school just remember that is how God would respond to us when we come back to Him. And that is how Jesus commanded us to have faith of a faith of a child.