Turn Back To God
There are times when I go about my life that, all of a sudden, I realize that I am far from God. I’ll be so caught up living my life with tunnel vision that I look up to realize that the once close-knit relationship that I had with God now feels distant.
I wake up in those moments and wonder how I strayed this far and how I can possibly get back to where I was with God.
I feel shame that I’ve let it get this bad.
I feel guilty because I know I could have done better.
I feel anxious to return to Him for fear of hostility and rejection.
How could God ever want me back, if I keep failing Him over and over again?
In these moments, I remind myself of the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. This son took his father’s inheritance and squandered all of it on recklessly living for himself. Once he had spent every last cent of his father’s inheritance and wakes up one morning, starving, eating out of the pig's trough.
He realizes that he is unworthy of return home and being accepted as a son again but he knows that even his father’s servants have a better life than he does now, so he decides to return home to work as a servant for his father.
If you have heard this parable, then you know how the story ends. The father sees his son coming home from a distance and runs out to meet him, hug him and kiss him!
The son repents and explains his unworthiness to be called his son by his father. He was fully expecting his father to be hostile or say ‘I told you so’ but instead the father gave him the nicest robe, ring, and sandals. He called to have the fattest calf killed and a feast through in his son’s honor. The father welcomed his son home gladly.
God does the same when we turn back to Him.
I’ll wake up and realize that I am relationally far from God and spiritually hungry for Him. I know I am unworthy to be called His daughter again but I just want to repent and turn back to Him anyway. He sees me at a distance and runs to me to fully embrace me once again as His daughter.
At that moment, I feel unworthy.
But it’s not about me being worthy, it's about the fact that I belong to God.
When we lose something that has no value to us, we don’t waste much time looking for it and we don’t really give much thought if we find it again. But if we lose something of great value to us, we will look for it diligently and rejoice when we find it again!
God values you so much and He will take you back again and again because you belong to Him! He loves you! In fact, He loves you so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross in your place so that you could live in eternity with Him forever!
So, if you feel like you are distant from God or are spiritually hungry and don’t know how to get back to the way things were before, I would encourage you to just turn back to God. That is the first step. Know that He isn’t judging you or hostile towards you as you return but will run to you and meet you with open arms, welcoming you home.