A Devotional Thought
by Linda and Phil Sommerville
Drops of sweat blurred his vision, but he didn’t slow his pace. He didn’t even notice when people pointed and stared as he passed by – he was simply too busy rehearsing his speech. This was his last option, the only way out of the pit he had dug for himself. It felt like a lifetime since he’d been home. Would his family even speak to him?
He dreaded the look of disgust his father would surely give him. How could he even bring himself to look his father in the eye? Just then his thoughts were interrupted by a painful growl in his stomach, and he knew he had to keep moving forward. He had to try. This was his only hope.
Meanwhile, a father grieved. Taking frequent breaks from his work, he would walk to the end of his driveway and look down the block. Hoping. Waiting. Longing for his son. Would his son ever choose to end this nightmare and return home? Would father and son ever be reunited?
As the son reaches the street where he grew up, he stops, he’s hesitant. Maybe this was a bad idea. He had long ago rejected his family in an ugly way. He hadn’t been in touch since. "They are going to slam the door in my face." He was sure of it. Why put himself through that pain. Then his stomach growled again. He had to try. This was his last hope. He rehearses his speech one more time and starts down the block.
At the same moment, the father just so happens to start down the driveway for the umpteenth time, not knowing why he keeps putting himself through the pain of looking. But he does know why—love.
As the father looks down the street, he and his prodigal son lock eyes. The son stops. Then, something happens that catches him totally off guard. The father is running towards him. The son launches into his speech. “Father, I am so sorry, I’m undeserving…” He is unable to say another word, the
strength of his father’s hug has knocked the
breath out of him. Then, neither can speak because they are both bawling in front of the neighbor’s. Next thing the prodigal knows, he’s been pulled into the house. Mom is now hugging him and crying while dad is on the phone calling everybody and planning a big party for that night.
This is how strong the Father’s love is for his long lost child.
At times I am the prodigal child who has wandered away from home, fallen into a pit, and cannot get myself out. Maybe, at this moment, you are feeling like a prodigal child yourself.
This is the story of the Prodigal Son, but a better title would be
The Story of the Father’s Love
. You can read it for yourself in
Our loving God stands with arms open wide begging us to come home, shedding tears of blood, offering to exchange his broken body in place of ours so that we will choose to come back to Him.
Let’s remember the unbelievable gift we are offered through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s a story that’s been told so many times we can forget just how amazing, even ridiculous, it truly is. The God of the universe is hiking up his robes and running down the road to meet us—to meet you. There is nothing you have done, that Jesus has not already forgiven. Run into his arms and be embraced by his love.
Maybe you have a prodigal child in your life, a son or daughter who has rejected your faith and does not believe in, or follow, Jesus. We ache for our children and so does God our Father. Each day, let us continue to “go down the driveway for the umpteenth time” by praying for their salvation. Let us pray for our kids and our grand kids. Pray for their salvation. Pray for their return to God. Pray for the Holy Spirit to break through their walls, break into their hearts, and call them irresistibly to God’s love and salvation.
Why do we keep praying for the umpteenth time? We know why—love.