It all began when my cat Bonnie disappeared...
After about three weeks of life with my new kittens, (and did I mention we also had a chocolate lab named Abbie?) I was at our surveying office one Thursday morning doing payroll. My husband gets a phone call and leaves abruptly, not even explaining where he's going. An hour or more passes and he sticks his head in the front door and asks me to come out on the porch. He says there's someone who wants to see me. When I walk out onto the porch, the first thing I see is a skinny, frightened, black cat, that is, no doubt, my Bonnie.
Tears of joy and happiness begin to flow unashamedly. She is covered in filth and the odor is almost more than I can bear, but it's my sweet Bonnie and at that moment, it doesn't matter. I hold her close to me while my tears soak into her fur. She is terrified though and as much I know she is happy to see me, the past three weeks have taken their toll. Her little body is shaking and as she tries pulling away from me, I want her to understand she's safe now.
Yes, she was just a cat but isn't that the picture the Bible paints of a loving God ... a God who runs to meet His wayward child. He doesn't care what we've done, how bad we smell from the stench of the world. He just wants to lavish His great love on us. He can cleanse us from the inside out ... reach those places of hurt and pain that we could never reach in our humanity. He wants to feed us with the Bread of Life so we'll never be hungry for anything this world has to offer. He will clothe us with His righteousness for we are royalty when we belong to Him. He longs to embrace us and whisper His great love for us ... His unfailing love.
Do you have a prodigal in your family? Maybe they desperately want to come home but need to know they will be welcomed with open arms, no questions asked. Show them the love of Christ. They could be trapped in a situation beyond their control and can't make it home. God still answers prayers. Don't give up on your prodigal. As long as they're on this side of heaven, hope is alive.
Maybe you are the prodigal and need courage to go home. I've been a prodigal and can tell you there is nothing like being wrapped in the embrace of a loving God. He will welcome you home and never leave you. Your family will probably do the same.
My prodigal was happy to be home ... not so happy about the newest family members. And where had she been for three weeks? She'd been trapped under our neighbors house. The call my husband received was from the neighbor. You never know what a day will bring.
"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 NIV