Pamela Myers Palmer
Time to Come Home, Pt. 1
First of a three-part series on The Prodigal [Child] .
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.
There's something about the parable of the Prodigal Son that touches my soul in a deep way. Perhaps it is being faced with the reality that this world, though appealing on the outside, can hurt us, chew us up and spit us back out, leaving us lost and wondering where to turn for hope. Perhaps it is the desperation of the son that forces him back home, where he knows he will not perish. Perhaps it is that all of us have been in situations where it was finally time to come home.
Are you the prodigal child? Running from family? Running from God? Running from love and acceptance? You feel unworthy, you've made a plethora of life-altering and devastating mistakes, you've fallen too many times, or gotten too far from God. Maybe you're the guy who thinks, "God will strike me if I walk into that church building." Maybe you long to be at the table once again with your loved ones, but you aren't sure how to mend what's been broken.
The Prodigal Son was arrogant. He had requested all of his inheritance, was caught up in the temptations of the world, and squandered his wealth away. The wealth that was supposed to last a lifetime was gone. The Bible says, "he came to his senses." I wonder how he must have felt when it dawned on him what he had done. Not only had he wasted away what his father had worked hard to pass onto him, but he wasted away the even more valuable relationships with his father and his family. I imagine he was hosting plenty of regret, shame, or even depression. The son had nothing left. But he recalled that in his father's house, no one starved. He was ready to admit his grave decisions and go back to the one place he had hoped his life would be saved. Finally, humility and repentance made their way into the prodigal son's heart, and his life would never be the same.
Is it time for you to come?
Humility draws us back to the table. Humility opens our hearts to the love of our Father. Humility can be the bridge between you and an estranged loved one. When we humble ourselves, forgiveness flows, wise decisions are made, and the damage can begin to be undone. With a repentant heart, we are able to turn from harmful, destructive ways and find our way back to Love. The prodigal son not only humbled himself, but he realized his sins and was ready to repent of them.
Whatever your story, however you got to this moment, know that God is your Redeemer, and you are His beloved child! His forgiveness runs deep and His arms are always open wide. There's nothing you could have done or said that would make God turn away from you. All your mistakes, the ones filling you with regret, shame, and guilt, are forgotten by Him when you approach Him with repentance and humility. He longs for you just as you thirst for Him. If you're suffering the heartache of a broken relationship, know that God is the Great Restorer. When both parties offer love and forgiveness with humble hearts, what was once broken can be made whole. No matter how far away you seem to be, no situation or relationship is out of God's redemptive reach.
If you're the prodigal child, beloved, it is time for you to come home.
This Week’s Reading Plan
As you read the following passages this week, ask yourself these questions:
1) What verse comforts me that I can commit to memory?
2) What word or phrase stands out?
3) What am I learning about God from this? 4) How can I apply this to my life today?
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Author: Pamela Palmer
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