Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 15:18-20 – "I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants." So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (NIV 2011)
I was born and raised in Canada, and this will always be my home. One year after I graduated from high school, I moved to the United States. There I studied, trained, and worked for a total of ten years. I had learned, accomplished my goals, and changed a lot over those years and finally reached a point when I wanted to move back home.
I had lost touch with most of the people I knew, grew up with, and went to school with. As I commuted on the train into the city, I often looked around and wondered if any of the other commuters were people I had gone to school with or who at one point had lived in my neighbourhood. From time to time, I would come across a familiar face and spend hours, or sometimes days, trying to figure out where I knew them from and who they were. Or I would read about a person and think, Wait a minute, I know that name, but I can't picture what they look like. Did they attend my high school? Did I know them from a church I attended? What other activities was I involved in growing up that this person might have been in as well? Occasionally, I would figure it out, but sometimes, I wouldn't. I recognized their face, but the context was so different that I couldn't remember their name. Or I could recognize their name but couldn't picture their face or remember how I knew them.
Sometimes, this happens in our relationship with God. Our church attendance begins to dwindle for whatever reason. Slowly, we begin to drift away from God. We forget about Him, the times we spent together, the conversations we had, and the grace He showed us. His name and His mercies begin to fade. From time to time, we get a reminder of His name or His presence with us, but we have a difficult time figuring out what happened to the relationship we had.
How amazing it is that God doesn't forget our name or face! No matter how far we drift away, He is always there with open arms waiting to welcome us back.
Luke 15:32 – But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. (NIV)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You that You don't forget our names or what we look like, no matter how much time has elapsed or how much we have let our relationship with You deteriorate. Thank You for waiting for us with loving, open arms. Amen.