“For this son of mine was dead and alive again; he was lost and is found.”
There are times when the gifts we have received are not fully appreciated until we think they are lost. The story of the Prodigal Son is a familiar one which tells of a man who took the inheritance that his dad set aside for him even before his father died. He then squandered all that he was given and realized just how wonderful and valuable the gift was that was freely given. But here is the even greater gift; when he “came to himself,” he returned home and found his dad running toward him with open arms and tears streaming down his cheeks. His dad was so consumed by his love for his son that despite what the son had done with the hard-earned inheritance that was given, he was welcomed home. We have been given an inheritance as well, an inheritance that is freely given but bought with a heavy price. Sometimes what God has given is squandered just by the busyness of our daily lives. Chris Tomlin sings, “Amazing love, how can it be, that you my king would die for me.” It is true, Jesus died so we can live again, so we may have another opportunity to celebrate the amazing love that will never let us go. No matter how much we squander the gift, God is reaching out towards us with open arms to celebrate our return. You are redeemed and forgiven by our loving and gracious God. Consider all that you have been given by God, and consider the grace that is offered when you have forgotten or take for granted the gift that was given. Donald Barnhouse wrote that “love that goes upward is worship, love that goes outward is affection, love that stoops is grace.” God is running to you, stooping down to pick you up, clean you up, and is celebrating your return. Turn back to God, and you will know the love that is eternal, a love that will never let you go. You are blessed by a gracious and merciful God. You are loved more than you will ever know. Celebrate God’s love with every breath. Thank you Jesus for the gift.