Maybe you haven’t spoken to an old friend in years – it’s a little hard to make that call, even if you’d love to talk to that person. Was there a falling out? Or just a withering distance that crept in? Will they even want to talk to you? Sometimes it feels that way as we tiptoe back towards God.
There’s a story (told by, that guy, Jesus) that addresses just that experience with God:
The younger of two brothers asked his father for his inheritance. The father gave it to him, and the son left home. He partied away all the wealth his father had given him. After losing his money, friends, everything, the son needed work. All he could get was a menial job feeding pigs. He was desperate for food, so desperate that he was willing to eat even what the pigs were given, but he was not allowed even that.
The son realized that the men who worked for his father were better off. Should he go home? Ashamed of what he had done, the son hoped only to ask for work, and be treated like another hired hand.
His father, who looked down the road every day for his son, had never stopped hoping that his son would come home. When he saw his son approaching in the distance, the father ran to meet him and embraced his son.
The son began to apologize, but the father didn’t let him finish. He called his workers to bring his son new clothes, and to prepare for a feast and a celebration. “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So the festivities began!
And so it is with God.
“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10
You can read the biblical version of the Parable of the Lost Son here.
In another post, we’ll talk about the cranky older brother. That’s a different point. And keep an eye out for an upcoming post: Sins of the Saints. If you worry about previous sins and developing faith, this will make you feel better.
For now, just know that God is on the lookout for you, no matter how far down the road you seem to be.