The Untold Thoughts of the Prodigal Son

I had never really given much thought to the Bible story of the Prodigal Son. I mean, it had never really applied to me, so why focus on it.

I was one of those “grew up in church” kids. Saved in the womb, baptized for the first time at 9 and then three more times by 20. Couldn’t get enough of that Holy Water.

But as quick as my sin washed away in that water, I picked it right back up on the other side of the baptismal. I knew who I was, and I knew what I stood for, but did I?

Fast forward from 9 year old me, getting baptized in a blue jean dress in the smelly creek by my small baptist church, surrounded by 20 or so old folks all clapping, crying, and hugging my drenched self, to the 21 year-old senior in college looking for acceptance, love, and peace in all the wrong places.

Struggling through church hurt, friend hurt, guy hurt, and trying to figure out what I really believed got mixed with an intense anger toward my Father and it created deep seeded bitterness in me. I had gone through a lot the summer before my senior year started, and to be honest I felt completely forgotten. I felt like my Father, who was supposed to be THE Father, didn’t care. I felt like His word was false and He was false because if the Bible says that He sticks closer than a brother, but He had apparently forgotten me that would make Him a liar, and if the Bible says that He is a man that He cannot lie then that makes Him a phony, right?

(Deep down I knew I was wrong – and that He had most certainly not left me. Quite the other way around.)

My bitterness festered and grew, I ran as far as I could, and I rebelled in every way I could think to. I left my roots grounded in the Tree of Life and very, very quickly ate of the forbidden fruit. I believed any lie the enemy would feed me. Speaking and whispering them into my life at every possible opportunity. I ran, and ran, and ran. Until I was so wound in my sin that I could not breathe. Until it consumed every inch of my mind and every crevice of my body. Until I found myself awake at 3 am one week night with my heart beating out of my chest unable to think of anything other than what I had become. I didn’t recognize myself. And the sin that I thought I would enjoy had left me emptier than I had ever been before. All I knew to do was admit that I needed Him.

In my searching for outward peace I found none. In my searching for acceptance in other people I found none. In my searching for meaning and truth in the world I found none. Because there is none.

The truth is that the ENTIRE time that I was rebelling, the ENTIRE time that I was thinking of anyway possible to hurt my Father, the ENTIRE time that I was running from the One who endlessly pursues me, I knew that He was there. I knew that in reality He had never forgotten me, and He had never abandoned me. I knew that He wasn’t a phony. That was just another lie that I believed. Another fruit that I consumed. And it was false.

He never stopped in His pursuit of me. I had been quick to spew blame at Him. It was His fault, not mine. But in reality I was the one who rebelled, wasn’t I? I was the one who had left, wasn’t I. So logically speaking, how would any of that be His fault? It wasn’t.

I never went a day without a whispered I love you. Or without knowing that I was His daughter. That I was still who He had created me to be, even if I wasn’t acting like it. I was still the one He cherished, and His beloved, even if I had abandoned Him. I never went a day without knowing that He would accept me with open arms as soon as I decided to come back.

But see, the problem was that it wasn’t just as easy as WHAM, BAM, back at it! I mean I couldn’t just come back to Him. I had sinned. I was filthy and so incredibly ashamed. I couldn’t come to Him like that.

I was gross.

I was faulted.

I had let Him down.

I had let Him down.

I had let Him down.

I had let Him down.

I was gross.

I was faulted.

I was so full of shame.

I was embarrassed.

I was embarrassed.

See, the issue with all of that though, is that He never asks us to be anything other than who we are. And so if I am those things – if I am gross and faulted and ashamed, which I am, that is OKAY. Because He told me to come as I am.

Whenever the prodigal son returned I’m sure that He was thinking all of those things. Look at the life he had partaken in for so long. Indulging in all types of sin. Surely his father could never love him as a son again. Maybe, if he was lucky he could be given a servant’s position. But the second his father knew that his son was home, he showered him with every ounce of his love, and his inheritance. Because that was his son, and he was his father.

And at the end of the day, that is our Father. He will wait. Patiently. For us to come home so that He can shower us with every ounce of love, affection, kindness, grace, mercy, and goodness that He has even when we least deserve it. Because He is good. He is a good Father. And sometimes we fail to look at Him that way. We get so consumed by our sin and by what we have done that we fail to see who He is. And what He has done.

He has eliminated our sin and cast it as far as the east is from the west.

Honestly, He just wants us. He wants us at our best and at our worst and at every single point in between.

He wants us to return.

So I encourage you, and I encourage myself. If you are a prodigal son, or a prodigal daughter – do not get caught on the lies that tell your soul that you cannot return because you have done too much, gone too far, or are too filthy. Because they are just that – lies.

He is a good, good Father, and He wants you.

He will never stop in His pursuit of you. Even if you may feel like He has.

I promise you, only He can feel your voids. Take it from one who had tried time and time again to disprove that. He wants your heart. He does stick closer than a brother.

And in a world of lies and false promises, He is true.

 

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