Among the many parables Jesus told, the parable of the prodigal son is perhaps the most deeply-felt of them all. And who is the prodigal son? We encounter him as he is far from home, destitute and broken, wandering in a heartless world. It turns out that some time ago, he had left his home and the father who loved him. He had traveled to a far-off land, and squandered all that he had in the pursuit of his own way in the world and an attempt to make himself happy through material success and pleasures. Only it didn’t work. The prodigal son soon found himself hiring himself out as a day laborer feeding swine. He had sunk to rock bottom.
Does this sound familiar? So often, it seems, you and I are like the prodigal son. You may, in your own life, be trying to find happiness in career success, in money, even in political ideals and social causes. Or, you may be trying to numb yourself from the pain of life through drinking, through drugs, or casual relationships. However, instead of finding real joy, you may be finding yourself at your own rock bottom.
A Joyful Reunion
But the story doesn’t have to end there. For the prodigal son never completely forgot who he was and where he had come from. One day, he awoke from the illusions he had been living under. He lifted up his eyes and, seeing clearly for the first time, resolved to himself, “I will return to my father’s house.” With that awakening began a journey homeward that ended in the open arms of his waiting father. How joyful was that reunion!
What’s most remarkable about this story is not just that the prodigal son longed for his father, but that the father had been daily waiting by the open door, anxiously scanning the horizon for signs of his son’s return. This tells us something very important. However much we may long for the heavenly Father who created us, God longs for us even more.
God Misses Us!
Think about this for a moment: God misses us. In fact, He misses us so much,...