We all know the story of the Prodigal Son, right?
The story of a wealthy father with two sons. One fine day, one of the sons decides that he really doesn't want to wait around for Dad to die...nope, he'd rather have his inheritance right now, thank you very much. Dad is deeply hurt, but agrees to his son's demand. So the young man promptly takes his money and pursues a life of materialism and deep, intense sin. In no time at all, his entire inheritance has been squandered away, and here sits a penniless and dejected young man. He was used to being waited on and having nothing but the finest of everything....and yet here he sits...in the mud...with a bunch of pigs. Ouch.
After much thought and deliberation, the young man decides to go home to the father whom he had offended, disrespected, and hurt. Maybe if he apologized, Dad would take him on as a servant in the house...at least he'd have food and a roof over his head, right? So he heads home and as he comes within sight of the house, the most amazing and beautiful part of this story comes into play.
His Father, seeing his son approaching in the distance, doesn't turn away in anger. He doesn't slam the door. He doesn't send servants to turn his rebellious son away from the house and send him back to the life that he chose. Instead, his heart is filled with compassion and he runs toward his son! He runs!!
What is so significant about this? During this time in history, in the culture that the story took place in, a man, especially one of great wealth and social stature, would never run. It was considered shameful, inappropriate, humiliating, and undignified. Does that stop him? No! His overwhelming joy, uncontrollable excitement, and unabashed love for his precious son cause him to throw all cultural barriers aside as he runs to his son and embraces him in a beautiful picture of restoration, forgiveness, and unconditional love!
What an absolutely beautiful picture of what God has done for us!! How often do I turn my back on Him? How many times does my focus turn from Him to the sinful and perishing pleasures that this world continually offers? There's no way to even begin to count how many times!! But even when I am completely faithless, He is faithful. Even when I wander, He remains. And when my wandering heart makes it's way back home to my Father, His heart is full of forgiveness and compassion, and He runs to gather me up in His arms! The King, Creator, God Almighty....He runs to His sinful child! How much more significant is that than a mere man with a lot of money running to his son? God blows me away!
Just like people wouldn't have understood the father in the story as he completely disregarded culture and custom to lavish his love on his rebellious son, the world today can't comprehend why God would step outside the norm by bringing the ultimate sacrifice and provision so that we could experience restoration with Him! His ways don't always make sense to our human minds...and I'm glad for it!!
This the song that I found accidentally today that began this whole thought process in my mind. What a blessing and beautiful reminder it is!!