I love the parable of the prodigal son. It’s a story about a young lad who was ready to strike out on his own, be his own man, break those parental ties and move on. It reminds me of myself when I went off to college. “Free at last! I can do what I want!”
Yet, in that dark season of my life, what I thought was freedom was nothing more than a numbing of the fear that plagued me. When I reached for a beer to numb the pain, I kept telling myself, “This is fun.” But it wasn’t.
I continued to deaden the fear–the fear of death, the fear of being out of control, the fear of loneliness. Yet, when the alcohol wore off, nothing had changed. My escape was not really an escape at all. My adventure into freedom was really a voyage into bondage.
As my life continued to spiral downward, I felt my heart being tugged another direction. I heard my Father’s gentle voice calling me Home–a peaceful voice, not condemning, not demanding, not harsh, as I had expected. It was the voice of Love.
When I finally decided to go back Home, I was ready to work–to do whatever I could to make things right with God. After all, I had done so much wrong in my life, and I knew my Father would be mad.
As I drew closer to Home, I sensed that my Father was running to me. He was overjoyed to see me, to hold me, to talk with me. His love overwhelmed me. I didn’t deserve such love; yet, he poured out such abundant grace and mercy. He held me and loved me just as I was.
“So he got up and went to his father. 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” (Luke 15:20).
If you feel like you’ve drifted away from Home, call upon your Father in heaven. Humbly go back and confess your sin of independence. God will not turn you away. Rather, he will have compassion on you and love you–just as you are.
Prayer: Father, I thought that I could escape the fears on my own, yet I have ended up in the slop of a pigsty, just like the prodigal son. Thank you that you welcome me home with love, grace and mercy, and that you love me just as I am.