Read: Luke 15:11-32
Reflect: When I was a little girl, Benny Hester had a popular Christan song about the Prodigal Son titled, “When God Ran”. I remember listening to this song over and over in all its 80’s synthesizer awesomeness, and being perplexed yet enthralled at the idea that God would run toward someone who had not only missed the mark performance wise, but also rejected Him.
It’s an understatement to say I grew up with father issues. My parents were divorced and both remarried before I was even old enough to have memories. I grew up with an internal emotional tug of war desiring the unconditional love and affection of my two dads. I lived with a constant feeling of having to prove that I was worthy enough to be loved and accepted. I tried to do all the “right” things, get good grades, and not make waves. Maybe if I was good enough, I would feel the security and the unconditional love I craved. Despite doing my best to be perfect, life still fell apart so I gave up my pursuit of perfection and did what I wanted in an effort to find security and unconditional love. Hence, I found myself pregnant and homeless at 15 years old.
One night as I cowered in the corner of a strange bathroom while everyone else in the apartment was in the other room getting high, I noticed the toilet seat was broken and thought it ironic that something that was once useful was now worthless. Just like me. Like the wayward son in the parable in Luke 15, I knew I was unworthy of God’s love and affection because of my utter rejection of everything I knew was right. I had gone my own way and ended up in the lowest of low places. Things could not be any worse. I couldn’t dare to hope that He would still love me, could I? I had grown up hearing of His great love and forgiveness but did it apply to me? After all I had done?
It felt like it would be an impossibly long journey from where I was to where God would be waiting, if everything I had been taught was true. But as soon as I turned, there He was. Running toward me. I had rejected every truth I’d ever learned and made an absolute mess of my life yet all it took was me turning to see Him running so fast He was already there. He had been watching and waiting for me, anxious to scoop me into His loving arms and rejoice in me. Broken, messy me.
Apply: Maybe you’re feeling broken and worthless, ashamed. A long way off from where you started. I promise as soon as you turn, He’ll be there. He’s already looking out for you. And God is a fast runner.