Waiting With Open Arms
Written by: Bailey Deman
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“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.”
- Luke 15:20
I don’t know about you guys, but when the going gets tough, God is not my first go-to. When the going gets tough the first thing I want to do is either sleep all day or eat lots of chocolate while watching sappy sad movies. Of course on Netflix!
But I have realized this week, running away from God rather than to Him, does nothing to help my situation.
In Luke 15, Jesus is telling a story about a family with two sons. And the youngest son asked his father for his inheritance early before he passed away. The father agreed and split his wealth with his sons. The youngest was excited. So excited that he left to a different land taking his money to use it for his desires. The high-life living, all the nice clothes, all the nice women and food. He left his family to be in this different, wonderful place.
After a while, the youngest son ran out of money. Then there was a famine - an extreme scarcity of food or a great shortage (Merriam-Webster).
The youngest son now had a big problem. He had no money left. He needed a place to stay and a place where he could get food and water...in a famine.
Lucky for him, he was able to find a job as a slave working with the pigs. He was so poorly treated that the pig's food-garbage looked good. I don’t know about you but when I am really hungry, trash isn’t my first thought! I mean the youngest son felt that his best was trash. I know that we all, especially me, have felt like this, a time when we messed up or knew we shouldn’t have done something. That we feel the best we deserve is trash.
But here’s the catch.
When the youngest son was thinking about his trash food, a thought came in his head that his father's slaves were eating better than him. He had an idea. He would go back to his father and tell him,“...‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.’”(Luke 15:18-19 NLT)
This was the moment where the youngest son believed he had lost his chance at being his father's son anymore and the best he could do was be known as a servant.
When the son returned home, before he was even in his house, his father saw him coming and ran to him. His father ran to him with open arms. With excitement!
Yes, I am telling the story correctly!
His father then tells his servants to bring him clothes with the finest colors, the finest jewelry, the fattest cow the father owned and wanted to throw a party!
The father in this story is a representation of God our Father. When you choose to go your own way, He will show love and compassion when you come home. When you sin and it’s the same sin over and over again, He will show you love and compassion when you come home.
When you run away from His kingdom, God will show you love and compassion when you come home, because He longs to guide and strengthen us to live the purpose He created us for (Ephesians 2:10) rather than spending our time searching for comfort or satisfaction in everything but Him.
He is our refuge.
He is our home.
A place where we can go no matter what happens and He will be waiting with open arms and a party! And from there, He won’t leave us as we are, in a wayward state, but will bring us ever closer to Him.
1. Ask God to show you where in your life you are running away from Him.
2. How can you remember to turn to God, your refuge, first, in the times where you want to run away from Him? Make a list of how you can remember to turn to God first and post it in your bathroom or car, somewhere visible for a daily reminder.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray those reading this will remember how much You care for them. That even in the hard times or the times where we continue to sin over and over again, running from You, that You still love us and that You want us to come home. That You still will be a place where we can come home to You, our Father, with open arms. To a place where we can call You our refuge. A place of protection. And we thank You for Your unconditional love towards every one of us.
In Your loving name,
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