I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you.” Luke 15:18 NLT
I suppose I could have gone to mine, but I never felt as if I could.
Dad seemed perfect. He didn’t act uppity, but at the same time, I always felt he dwelled on a higher plain than I did. My brothers and I never felt we could approach him with our issues.
I suppose most teenagers feel the same, but it would have been nice to at least sense I could have gone to him if I wanted—when I felt the pull to smoke, get drunk, curse, do drugs, have sex. I knew those things were wrong. My friends didn’t encourage me otherwise. Dad would have.
I don’t ever remember Dad saying, “I’m here if you need to talk.” I received instructions as a young child—which gave me a proper foundation—but times arrived later when I needed to talk but didn’t feel as if I could. When he lay on his death bed sucking in his final breaths, I felt the same. Years of feeling as if he was at arm’s length kept me at arm’s length until it was too late.
The prodigal son didn’t have the same issue. He went to his dad and asked for his inheritance. He tired of living at home and wanted to do his own thing. His father gave him the money. The son left, gathered some rowdy friends, partied, and, in short order, spent all he had. One day while slopping the hogs, he came to his senses and decided to return home.
The father in the story represents God the Father. He’s never too busy to listen to His children. He may not approve of what we’re doing, but He understands the temptations we face and is always willing to forgive. The prodigal’s father waited day after day for his son to return and ran to him with open arms when he did.
Our heavenly father is capable of directing our lives. He is also able to save us from ourselves and the sins that separate us from Him. After salvation, He gives us the best life possible. Just as the father in the story called for his servants to kill the fatted calf. They were about to party.
Whether or not you can go to your earthly parent with your troubles, you can always go to your heavenly Father, who waits with open arms to embrace you and your troubles.
Prayer: Father, thank You for always opening Your arms to us.
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