One of the most amazing sentences in scripture is tucked away in the story of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15. The son has told his father he wanted the inheritance now (implying he would prefer, and be better off, is his father was dead) and blown all that money on living life his own way. He was broke, starving, and desperate. He decides to return to his father’s house and beg to be a servant there. Verse 20 says:
“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.”
One of the great lies about turning things in your life around is that the further you have gone, the further you have to go. That gets into your brain that you have gone too from God to return. “I’ve already had sex, that’s too far.” “I’ve already thought about suicide, that’s too far.” It’s not true, there is no too far.
The father in the story is God and we are the son. The father saw his son when he was still far away, meaning he was looking for him. He ran to meet his son, didn’t walk, didn’t pretend to bump into him, didn’t passively aggressively tap his foot on the porch. He didn’t want to hear his son’s apology speech, he just wanted to celebrate his return.
When you make the decision to return home, God sees that and He closes the distance himself. There is work to do in repairing your life, to be certain, but the restoration of the relationship with God is already taken care of. Now penance, no time out, no explaining yourself.
No matter how far off you feel, you are not beyond the sight or reach of the Heavenly Father who loves you.
-Matt from The Bridge