READ : Luke 15:11-24
. . . When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. (v. 20 Message)
Hugging my nieces is always special for me. What makes it more meaningful is that when she was younger, the oldest one was frightened by the jerky motions caused by my cerebral palsy. Waiting until she felt comfortable was difficult for me. Thankfully, it only took a few years before she was willing to come on her own and give me a hug. Once she came, her little sister soon followed.
There is someone else who sometimes has to wait for his family to embrace him. In the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus gives a picture of how God the Father waits for his children to come to him. He never pushes his love on anyone. Instead, he longs every day for his children to realize how much he loves them and to accept that love. The Lord and the angels have a celebration every time one of his children embraces him.
I was excited when my niece gave me that first hug. I can only imagine how overjoyed God must be when one of his children comes to him. Have you given him that special embrace? If you have turned away, know that he is waiting for you to come home.
Lord, help us to realize your great love for us.