for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. Luke 15:24
He watched as his beloved son just walked away in the distance. The pain was too much to bear. What challenges would his son face? What dangers, especially carrying such a large amount of money. It was half of the estate. His son had just made a horrible demand. “I want my share of the inheritance now. Give it to me,” he shouted. The father reluctantly gave in and now his son was gone.
Every day he must have watched and hoped, trusting in God to care for his son. If only he would return. He would most certainly be forgiven.
A long time passed. No doubt that kind of money took a while to spend. But then on the most glorious, wonderful day it happened. He barely recognized his son. But surely it must be him. Beneath the rags, that thin young man was his beloved son. The father could not contain himself and quickly began to run. In no time he had reached his prodigal son and took him in his arms.
The boy was sorrowful and soon expressed his shame. He had wasted all of his inheritance and had betrayed his father. He recognized that he was no longer worthy of being called his son and hoped he could be a servant. He was truly repentant. The father, forgave him and not only welcomed him back as his son, but began one of the greatest celebrations the family had ever had.
If any of us were to turn from God this is how he would receive us back, with love and mercy. God presently waits for those who have gone astray and if any are willing to return He welcomes them with open arms and celebrates. The joy felt in heaven as on earth is indescribable, for each and every soul that is saved!