Our God is watching us from a distance.
That is usually thought to be a negative view of God, one that sees God as uncaring and uninvolved. However, that is not how I see it. Let me explain….
In Luke 15:11-24, Jesus tells the story of a disrespectful, irresponsible son who wastes his father’s inheritance on sinful activities.
After a time, he hits rock bottom and “comes to his senses,” deciding to return to his father and ask for forgiveness. Along the way, he rehearses his apology, probably with butterflies in his stomach, wondering how his father will respond.
He knows he has treated his father very poorly and does not deserve the father-son relationship that they had before. I’m sure he was prepared to go to the home, get down on his knees, look ashamedly down at the ground, and humbly voice his guilt and shame. In fact, he was going to suggest that he stay on as a servant; but that’s not how the story goes.
God Watching Over Us
The text says that while the son was “still a long way off,” his father saw him and ran to him, being full of compassion. He threw his arms around his son and kissed him.
Now think on this- his father was watching and waiting for him. His father never gave up on his son. He didn’t make his son come to him; instead, he ran to meet his son.
And before his son could make any apology, his father was hugging and kissing him. This is how deeply the father loved his son.
Despite the terrible things his son had done, the father did not take his son back as a servant as the son suggested.
Instead, he put the “best robe” on his son, a ring on his finger, and sandals on his feet. He threw a feast to celebrate the return of his son, calling him “son of mine.”
There was no demotion; instead, there was full restoration of the father-son relationship because of the son’s repentance (willingness to change).
God is Watching Us
So now, do you understand what I mean when I say that God is watching us from a distance?
No matter how far we wander, no matter if we hit rock bottom, no matter how poorly we have treated our Heavenly Father, He is watching and waiting for us. He will run to meet us, spanning the distance with His compassion and mercy, throwing His loving arms around us as we return to Him.
If we are willing to change our lives, there is no settling into a second-class position. No, instead we will be children of the Eternal King! God is watching for you from a distance!
Won’t you return to Him?