God sure has a sense of humor, doesn’t He? During one of my recent quiet times and as I reflected on the believer being “under construction,” it occurred to me that some of us were restoration projects. At one time or another, the love of God flowed through us and we were so in love with Him that every waking moment was spent with Him on our minds. We cherished the times we spent in His company, the times we talked, fellowshipped, unloaded our deepest fears and concerns while embracing His peace over our hearts and minds. We loved the intimacy.
Yet, as time progressed, something changed. Amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday living, we became pressed for time and before we realized it, the moments with Him became fewer and farther between. The relationship that needed to be nurtured and watered to remain vibrant started to suffer. Like a building showing signs of continued neglect, spiritually, cracks appeared in the foundation of our faith, dust and cobwebs covered our perception of truth, our convictions went to and fro like broken shingles caught in the wind, and our witness to the world became dulled like the building’s weather-worn paint. Do you recognize yourself in that picture? Not appealing to look at, but the perfect situation for our God who specializes in restorations among so many other things.
While our salvation is by grace and God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), our restoration to our rightful place in the kingdom is a cooperative effort (Romans 10:9). We need to recognize and acknowledge the emptiness of life and its experiences outside of Christ, and like the prodigal son, purpose within ourselves to return home. In relating the parable as told by Jesus, Luke tells us that after looking at where he (the son) was, and remembering where he belonged, “he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20, KJV). Thomas Hortonville Ward was right when he said, “The sin which is not too great to be forsaken, is not too great to be forgiven.”
It really did not matter what the son had done, or how damaging his actions were to the relationship. With sincere repentance, he found not condemnation and judgment, but forgiveness and restoration. For those of us who have drifted away from God, no matter how slightly, He offers the same today. With that in mind, isn’t it time to come home?