Our daughter, who is deaf, has a special way with animals. She's had a variety of pets over the years: hamsters, ferrets, a rabbit, several dogs and cats, and two horses. While she was working on a horse farm, two stray cats were dumped there one Halloween day. One was black, later named Spook, and the other was a tabby, Tiger. When she lost her job at the farm, she planned to bring the two cats home with her, but a few days before her last day at the farm, Tiger disappeared. She took Spook home with her, and he lived out the rest of his days with her.
Four years later, Tiger found her new house and hung around for a short while. But he got in a fight with another cat and disappeared. She never saw him again until six years later, when he showed up at a local gas station. When our daughter discovered him, she would go over there and spend time with him, until last summer when many stray cats in the area were rumoured to have been taken to another city to be neutered. She frantically tried to locate him, calling Humane Societies and vets in many different cities. And even though she couldn't track him down, she never gave up on seeing him again.
Miraculously, a few weeks ago, Tiger showed up in the shed on her neighbour's property. After much coaxing and patience, he slowly but surely found his way to her back porch where she was able to pet him, and now he is venturing into her house to visit.
As I thought about this the other day and how amazing it is, I was once again reminded of how amazing our God is. We may wander away from Him for a time, but, like my daughter with Tiger, He never gives up on us, and He is always waiting patiently for us to come back home to Him.
Our daughter was overjoyed to see Tiger again and couldn't wait to hold him in her arms once more — just like our God, Who welcomes us back home to Him with joy and open arms.
Luke 15:20b – 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)
If you have strayed away from God, don't hesitate to find your way back to Him and experience the joy of being welcomed back home. Like the parable of the prodigal son, know that Your Father in heaven truly cares about you. Rest assured that He wants to welcome you back. Notice that it is the Father Who ran to embrace the son!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, it is so good to know that You are always waiting patiently for us to come back to You when we have wandered away. We long to draw near to You so that You will draw near to us. Grant us the courage that we need to come to You just as we are, knowing that You have been there all along, watching and waiting with arms open wide. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "The Day Thou Gavest Lord Is Ended" (Lyrics)