I was watching a video of another soldier's homecoming the other day. One of a dad surprising his daughter at her school. I've seen many of these and they never get old. I love it. I love the welcoming of someone who has been away for a long time, because their presence has been waited for.
This last video had me thinking, though. I imagined God waiting for us in the same manner. I pictured Him waiting for me. In every single one of these videos, the returned doesn't have to go far... The person waiting for them sees them, and runs to them. They run to them. Can you just imagine feeling that kind of welcome? Just like in the story of the prodigal son. The father sees his son returning and runs to him. Doesn't wait for him to come, he sees him and runs to him.And he embraces him in all the dirt and filth and mess that he's covered in, and welcomes him back home. I imagine many tears were flowing.
What I think we don't see in this story, is the prodigal only returns as a very very last resort when he has lost everything. In his riches, he partied and was irresponsible. Then famine hit just when he lost everything.
I happen to chase a lot of things that don't fulfill me the way Jesus does. I chase things that I put before him, and I make time and effort for those things. The person who gave His life for me is also the same person that I put at the bottom of my relationship list. But still, He sees me returning and runs to me. And He embraces me in such a welcome that He calls all the best out for me. For me, of all people.
When you're at your worst and think that you can't be taken back.... watch those surprise homecoming videos... and you will see how God feels when you come to Him. Even though He knows the exact second of your arrival, the welcome stays the same.