“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…”
Luke 15:18-19, NIV

If you are a Christian and far from God, then you know the longing of the son Jesus spoke of in this powerful parable. You are discovering the depth of disappointment worldly pursuit brings. You know the pain of finding certain friendships to be superficial and loveless. You are even learning of the darkness that resides within you. Being far from God always unearths painful truth.

We can easily moralize from this point and drive ourselves into greater despair. How many times have you worsened that despair by saying something like, “I got myself into this mess. I will get myself out.” Noble as that may sound, such a statement is born of pride and the fear that God will not allow you back into His good graces unless you fix what you broke. This unearths the reality that you believed He loved you in the first place because you were perfect.

However, at issue is not so much what you have done, but how you have distorted who God is to you.

The young man Christ spoke of was in deep trouble. He turned his back on his dad to live a life on his own terms and found life to be much harsher than he envisioned. Ultimately he became alone and without love.

It was not until he remembered his father’s character that this broken young man came home where even the hired hands were treated with dignity. As a rebel he deserved the treatment of servants, but his father welcomed him as a son. In rebellion we rationalize and believe the worst about the One who loves us most but the Gospel promises that not even our own wickedness can overcome the power of God’s unfailing love.

QUESTION: Read Psalm 103 and Romans 8 and reflect on God’s Fatherhood. Ask God to allow you the joy of your ‘sonship.’