20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
When John Newton, the author of the hymn Amazing Grace, was eighty-two years old he said to his friends, “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.” The first verse of Amazing Grace reminds me of today’s scripture:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch; like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Like the Prodigal Son, I sometimes feel like I’ve squandered my Heavenly Lord’s inheritance. There are days when I get frustrated with waiting for life situations to resolve, so I head off on my own, leaving God behind. I end up stuck in a far off place, sitting in a mess of a situation with what seems like no way out. I’m left spiritually starving and alone with my broken pride. But I come to my senses and decide to head back home, home to God who understands my pigheadedness.
Before I even get there, God is right there in front of me, running to meet me, arms outstretched in joyous welcome. God’s been patiently waiting and watching for my return. I pour out my heart to God, I repent my mistakes and brokenness and ask for and receive forgiveness. I am overwhelmed by God’s amazing grace.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Are you squandering the inheritance God has given to you? Have you been in a similar situation where you went off on your own and left God behind? Do you feel like you’re lost and need to be found?
Just know, we all get lost on the journey, but you’re never lost in the eyes of God. There’s no sin, no situation, nothing that can separate us from God’s loving compassion. Where ever you are at this moment, God is running to meet you with outstretched arms.
Take a moment to repent of all the brokenness in your life and ask God to forgive you. You will be made whole, and you will experience peace and joy in God’s forgiveness. When you experience the transforming love of God, you will have more compassion for yourself, and that compassion will flow outward to others.
Prayer: Loving God, even when we go off on our own and make a mess of things, when we turn to you, you are already running to meet us with outstretched arms, to love us and forgive us, and celebrate our return. Thank you for your amazing grace that never fails to find us when we are lost and to welcome us home. Amen.