So over the last few weeks I have been on several trips that have taken me out of town. And while going on vacation is great, I come back and feel so out of place. Everything that I had going on in life suddenly seems different and as if I have come back missing a piece of the puzzle. Almost like life has continued while I've been out of town....the nerve that this would go on even in my absence! Funny our opinion of things isn't it? That life in general revolves around our own person and how things are effected by us or how we effect other things and people.
Well, isn't this the same thing with our relationship with Christ? When we step away from our relationship with God, a vacation or hiatus of sorts, doesn't it seem harder to step back into the same place that we left? Isn't it a bit difficult to jump right back into the flow of things, especially with God? We go through struggles and questions before we consider ourselves worthy, don't we?
I need to get myself back on track first before I go back to God.
Does He even want me to come back?
I'm so unworthy because I was the one who walked away.
I can't let God see me like this, I'm unfit to be in His presence.
Am I ready to go back?
Aren't these the thoughts that seem to race through our minds. But the thing is....these inklings couldn't be father from the truth! Yet as humans we feel this disconnection. Sometimes, even to the point where we feel like we're only hanging on by a thread. Why do we feel like this? What has happened during our vacation time? What causes us to take time away from God to start off with? I know that times that I have stepped away has been because I want to try things my own way. I have found that I am not a very patient person when it comes to waiting on God's timing. So, I've have stepped away and tried to do things on my own. I remember occassionally looking back to what it was like with God and longing to be there again. But at that point I was embarrassed at my leave of absence and behavior toward God with respect to my impatience. My insecurity, whatever that may be, kept me at a stand still...kept me from walking back towards God. The shame that I felt completely consumed me...ashamed that I would leave the one who trully knew everything about me and loved me for it!
See, that's the thing that we forget when we disconnect from God. That He loves us! He loves us despite our flaws...He loves us with our flaws! Did you hear what I just heard? He loves us just the way that we are, the way he created us to be! I don't know about you, but when I think about this I want to cry! But the emotion is not an emotion of sadness, but an emotion of complete amazement!
In Luke chapter 15: 11-32 is the story of the Lost son or prodigal son. The youngest of two boys wanted to take is share of inheritance and go off to experience life on his own instead of sticking around home. He went off to a distant country and blew everything that he had. He then slipped to the lowest of the low because he had lost everything and a didn't have a way to make a living. Scrounging at the smallest, most depressing job to scrape by. While at the bottom in life looking up, he realized what he had left and set off for home to beg forgiveness and plead to become hired help in his own home. Have you been here? No where to go after you have set off and done things on your own....made mistakes along the way....and wound up worse off than you already were. I have been here.
What gets to me every time is this next part to the story. verse 20 - "So the man got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."
I'm quite speechless at this because we are the Lost Son/Daughter and the father is our Glorious Father above. And even though we have turned away, lost ourselves even along the way, God our Father sees us turn and walk back to Him. And He rejoices in our return...Rejoices! This is incredible!
Romans 8:34-35 - "Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died- more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or or famine or nakedness or danger or the sword?"
Nothing can separate us from the love, the unconditional love of God through Jesus Christ. Not even our own stupidity! Which is exactly what we face everyday. When we doubt, when we make a mistake, when we turn away, when we make complete fools of ourselves..............when we look back to the cross after our absence, God is there with His arms open wide rejoicing for our return!