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Parenting is hard. Sometimes children break your heart. They make decisions that lead to pain, sometimes death. Many parents have mourned because their children succumbed to drugs or entangled themselves in gangs or landed in prison or pursued unhealthy relationships. Sometimes, children disown their parents. Many parents grieve for their wayward children.
The pain of a broken-hearted father provides the backdrop in the story of the prodigal son. A son demands his inheritance and runs off. He lives contrary to every wish and teaching of his father, wasting his inheritance. Eventually, broke and desperate to eat in an economic downturn, he returns to his father, seeking a job. But the father sees him coming and runs to hug him. The father throws a party because his lost son returned. The older brother doesn’t understand the father’s joy. So the father has to explain it to him.
This story highlights the attitude of God toward all of us. We are the wayward children. He waits for us to come to our senses and return to him. He longs to hug us and celebrate our return. His attitude is that of the father, who said this to the older brother in Luke 15:32, “But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (NIV)
Remember, God desires a relationship with you. He is a loving father.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.