In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 15, three parables are written.
They all carry the same subject—being lost and becoming found.
It begins with the parable of the lost sheep, continuing with the parable of the lost coin and ending with the parable of the lost son.
With the example of the lost sheep, the shepherd goes in search of that one.
The owner of the lost coin searches intently, lighting a lamp and sweeping the house until it is found.
In the parable of the lost son………would you expect that it would state that the father left all he had to go in search of the young man?
After having read the first two examples, one might think that this would be the case.
But it is not.
We see no indication that his father searched for him at all.
In fact, he let his son go.
I personally feel that it is quite possible that the father warned the son about what might be the result of unwise living.
I think, too, that there must have been heart felt statements like, "Why must you leave? This is unnecessary! My love for you is great!"
What we do know is that the father saw his son returning when he was still a far distance away.
Did the sun set on every evening that the boy was gone, finding the father standing in the amber shadows, praying for his safety and longing for his return?
When he did recognize him walking far off, was the father angry at what his son had done?
Was he bitter over the lack of respect, the squandering of family heritage?
Instead, we read that he was, "filled with compassion for him."
Before his son spoke, the father, "ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."
Doesn’t this sound like unconditional love?
Doesn’t this overflow with forgiveness?
The son then says to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son."
At this point, the sentiment of the previous two parables appears again.
The shepherd says, "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep."
The owner of the coin says, "Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin."
Now, the father exclaims, "Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."
These three parables point to restoration with God.
As our Heavenly Father, He does wait for us to return to Him when we rebelliously reject Him.
Does He not also go "in search" of our hearts, causing circumstances to point us back to Him?
His ways are limitless as He persues us.
Even so, He does not force us to come back.
How His heart must break that we are not at "home" with Him, but instead, out squandering our lives.
What rejoicing there is in Heaven, though, when even one of us returns!
If you have wandered, know this—–God is waiting.
He is also persuing.
He wants you to come home.
Why not open your heart and ask for forgiveness.
It’s not too late…
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 men.’ So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. –Luke 15:18-24