Luke 15:20 – So he went at once to his father. While he was still at a distance, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son, put his arms around him, and kissed him. (GWT, God's Word Translation)
When I was a child and we would go about seven or eight miles to visit some friends, I thought it took forever to arrive at their home. We travelled via a country gravel road, so my dad never drove as fast as on the paved highway.
On the way back home, it didn't seem to me to take long to get home at all. I remember commenting to my mom about it. She said that it is always nice to go home and that is why it didn't seem to take as long.
I have thought about that in a spiritual sense recently. Sometimes, we wander far from God. When we get to our destination and look back at where we have come from, we can see that the road was long; it was hard; it was bumpy; it was rough. When we realize how far we have wandered, we turn and run back to God, like the prodigal son did. The father was waiting for him — he saw him coming from a long way off. The father ran to meet his son and welcome him home.
I wonder if the road was long for the son to go back home. Was he wondering what his father's reaction to him would be? Would he be judged? Would he be condemned? Would he be accepted? The father was eagerly waiting and watching for him to return.
God, our Father, is waiting for us with welcoming arms. His child has come home. Oh, to relax in His arms, knowing He loves and cares for us, and forgives us! The journey back really isn't so long after all.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for watching for us to return to You. Often, in our day-to-day lives, we stray, but You are waiting for us with open arms to welcome us back home. How we praise You for that today! Amen.