The Prodigal Son

Around here we have a little morning routine, which includes me reading the boys a bible story from their children's Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible, during breakfast. So like any other morning I prayed, opened up the Bible, and picked up reading where we'd left off. Now let me just say this is at least the third time we've gone through this Bible...and still I love it. Really though, it maybe a simple and concise paraphrase, but it gets to the heart of the Bible {God's Love} in a way that even a child can relate with. I look forward to the day, when we can talk through the stories. All that to say, these stories are not new to me.

But everytime I read them I pull new tidbits from them. And this particular morning was no different. As I read the story of the prodigal son I was so touched. God's love is sooooo big guys. Seriously so BIG.

I've always read this story and found myself identifying with the son. Maybe I haven't woken up and asked my parents for my inheritance and walked away-- only to blow it all--  but how many times have I done this to God? Honestly more times than I can count. So, so many times have I let my relationship with Him grow cold and distant. And I've always been humbled when He has received me with open, loving arms. 

But this time through the story was different. As I read the story to my boys, God opened my eyes to the heart of the father in the story. I couldn't help but imagine how I'd feel if one of my boys was to take the path of the prodigal son. My heart was broken for the father-- for God. The magnitude of His loss, having to watch His precious, beloved child walk into certain destruction. To know that nothing could be said to stop him. My heart aches knowing that this is what God lives daily, that I have at times been the rebellious child causing His pain. 

And when the son realizes his HUGE mistake and returns to the father, that's when I was truly overcome. As I imagined myself in the father's shoes, picturing what it would be like if one of my sons did the same, and I could see nothing but love. You'd better believe I would drop EVERYTHING and run to my son, just as the fathering the story does. I told my sons in that moment {and will many, many more times}, my love for them is so much bigger than anything they can do wrong. That although I maybe hurt and disappointed by their choices-- nothing, nothing, NOTHING can ever separate them from my love. I will always welcome them back to me. 

And I was floored, floored by how HUGE God's love is. The magnitude of my love for my boys is beyond words, but it pales in comparison to God's love for all of us. He loves each of us enough to welcome us back. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. No matter what we've done, He loves us. No matter how far we've wandered, He loves us. No matter how many walls we've put up, He loves us. He will always love us. He will always run to us to welcome us back. He LOVES us. It's as simple and as complex as that. He loves us. And as our little Jesus Storybook Bible says, it's a "Never Stoping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love."

And I have never felt more blessed to be His child...


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