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.” (NIV) Luke 15:20
There was a man who had two sons. The younger of the two received his inheritance, lived recklessly, and spent all his money. In the midst of a famine and desperation, the son came to his senses. He realized his sin, decided to return home to ask for his father’s forgiveness and request to become one of his father’s servants.
While the younger son was in the distant land, his father waited. He never gave up hope! Did the father go to the edge of his property each morning at sunrise and look toward the road that brought travelers into town hoping his son would return? It would not surprise me if he did!
His son did return. . . the father spotted his son . . . a lone figure on the horizon, trudging slowly, but purposefully toward town. The son who at the beginning insisted on unhampered control over his own life, now left his destiny entirely in his father’s hands. I wonder if he understood how much he had wounded his father’s heart. The father knew that his son would suffer from the villagers insults, accusations, and ridicule, and perhaps even be subjected to physical abuse.
But while the son “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). From the depths of the father’s being, his heart went out to his son. . . the father began running to his son. (A nobleman never runs anywhere – this was incredibly undignified! But he hiked up his robe, and ran in front of all the men, women, and children of the village!) Although some would never forgive that boy, the father hugged him and kissed him over and over. . . a physical demonstration of self-emptying love.
Unconditional, forgiving love. . . a description of our Heavenly Father’s love for us! A physical demonstration of self-emptying love. . . a description of Christ’s love for us demonstrated on the cross! Run to God right now. . . sit at His feet. . . worship Him. . . soak in His love for you. . . and in whatever way He leads you, demonstrate your love for Him.