Being met with the limitless love of our Father

“But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

Picture it. Third Street, Elkins, late 1960s. Montgomery Ward on the corner and Grants right down the street. A beautiful summer morning and a trip to town. My 5-year-old self was in heaven because when we were done at Wards there might be a chance to go to Grants to see the monkey and look through the toy section.

I was so excited. I can remember holding my grandmother’s hand as we walked through the door, and the moment she let go I had to look at something. I was expected to stay right by her if she let go of my hand, but this time the temptation was greater than the promise of punishment.

I turned around and headed back toward the door and was greeted by a young man holding it open, so I walked right out, took a left toward Grants, and walked right in. I went to the pet department, looked at the monkey and headed to the toy department where I settled down in front of the rack of story books and started reading.

Suddenly I heard a voice that said, “She’s right over here!” and I felt a hand reach down and stand me on my feet as I looked up into the relieved faces of my mother and grandmother. While I thought they knew exactly where I was, I was lost. I had wandered away from my family to do my own thing, never once thinking how much it would impact those I loved.

We find the Prodigal in the same boat. Far from family, home and God, his epiphany came while he was knee deep in mud and hogs. He climbed from the sty and started down that long road home, rehearsing a speech of remorse. He is met at the end of the road, not with the punishment and ostracism he expected, but with new clothes, a ring, a celebration, and the words, “for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and now is found!” (Luke 15:24)

How often we wander away from God our Father. We like our independence, doing things on our own, and when we realize we are lost we dread to face the journey home. But we are met with the limitless love of our Father who continually and relentlessly seeks to restore us to His favor. Blessed be the name of the Lord!