“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 (NLT)
Oh, I never get tired of this well-known story! If you’ve got time, read all of it today. We most often refer to it as the story of the prodigal son, but even more so, it is the story of a loving father. A story of a father who has been betrayed by his son, but even so, is vigilantly watching and waiting for his return. Once the son decides to return home, this verse tells us while he was still quite a distance from home “his father saw him coming“. I just love that! Then, we see that he was “filled with love and compassion” and ran to welcome his son back home. He ran without regard to it being culturally unacceptable for a grown man to run. He ran without care to what those who had rejected his son as a loser would think.
That is the story of the extravagant, forgiving, unconditional love of a truly amazing father. Jesus told this story so that we would know what the love of our Heavenly Father is like. I am continually blown away by the love of God. The more I hear about it, the more I see it in my life and in the life of others, the more I am in absolute awe of it. For years I held it at arm’s length for various reasons, but once God showed me what I’d been missing out on, I have never been the same. Just last week I was completely taken off guard by His love, and even though I don’t cry often found myself in tears as the truth of knowing “God loves me” washed over my soul, and flooded my heart.
I know it is THE ONE THING we are all looking for, so I can’t stop talking about it. Just like I wouldn’t stop telling others about the cure for cancer if I’d found it, I can’t stop telling others about the cure for a longing, unsatisfied heart. His love for us is how it all began, He created us just so that we could know and experience His love, all at such a high cost to Himself. This week is Valentine’s Day, so I couldn’t help but give you the best valentine I can give, and that is to tell you “God loves you” and encourage you to remind yourself of it daily.