In the past several weeks, a very specific Bible story keeps coming to my mind. It is the story of “The Prodigal Son” in the Gospel of Luke 15:11-31. I hope you’ll take the time to look up the story and read it well.
There are also some very specific words in the story that keep standing out to me. When the “lost son” came to his senses and began making his journey to go back home, verse 20 says, “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; emphases mine)
I believe there are times in all our lives where we feel like we are “a long way off” from being where we want, and need, to be in our relationship with God. But that doesn’t keep God from loving and caring for us. This story reminds us that our Heavenly Father is constantly watching out for us, and waiting for us to make a move toward Him. Even if we are a long way off, God is filled with compassion for us, and wants to come running to us so He can pour out His love on us. He wants to throw his arms around us and demonstrate His great kindness and mercy.
I believe these words are significant, and very encouraging, as we continue to journey through the Lent season. God sees, and responds to, every move we make toward Him. The loser we come, the greater God’s ability to act in our lives. The closer we come, the greater God’s ability to act through our lives in the lives of others. This Lent, let’s keep moving toward God together. Then, let’s prepare to celebrate as we watch and see what God does!