He got right up and went home to his father.
When he was still a long way off, his father saw him.
His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him.
It was twenty years ago now, when I began coming home as a prodigal son. I was raised in the church and had a personal relationship with God in my childhood. After I turned thirteen sometime, I had an experience where God asked me to let Him be Lord of my life. This was 1973 or 1974 and in our Evangelical church, especially as a child, I never heard about salvation versus Lordship. But in that experience, as a thirteen year old, I knew what God meant because I had a vision of Him taking the steering wheel of my life. Unfortunately, I did not say yes and God heard me. From that day, I lost my intimate walk with the Lord and began my rebellion.
By late 1985 and early 1986, God was wooing me. I was trying to read the Bible but couldn't understand it really and I tried to pray and could really only continue to ask for protection on the freeways and a few other small things, but could not really connect at all. But also, during this time, I began to go back to various churches with friends. They would have these simple praise songs at a Calvary chapel I visited and the songs made me cry and cry.
By May of 1986, I was on the road to coming home. I had a long, dry repentance; but I was drawn very strongly. I took these long walks, pondering my life and where I had gone wrong. My spiritual hunger kept increasing and on Father's Day of 1987 I finally found a church that I would call home for the next twelve years. Someone was also praying for me during this time and said that they would just cry. I later realized that perhaps God was crying over me- broken hearted. I later realized that Jesus parable of the two sons was about me and Father God as well.
There is a revelation here when Jesus says that while the son was still a long way off, the father saw him. He was hoping and waiting. Perhaps scanning the horizon whenever he was outdoors. Then one day, there his son was, and the father ran to meet him. Very awesome. The love of God. Have you experienced it?