This is the story I was told: A young man had made some poor choices. He was at the end of his rope and knew he had failed himself, his parents, and the commitment he made to his God years before. Sure, he’d had good intentions and he had been sincere. Life happened; he made wrong choices; he had fallen and now he wondered if there was any way to get back up and start over again.
One evening as he sat down in the middle of the mess where he was living, he called his folks. He wasn’t sure that he really wanted them to know his dilemma, but he didn’t know where else to go or what else to do.
Heartbroken, they listened as the phone lines carried his words of failure, defeat, and hopelessness.
At the end of his tired explanation, they said three words.
Those words gave him hope and belonging.
“Just come home.”
He was their child, their son. All they wanted him to do was come home.
What is it about just coming home that brings healing and restoration? What is it about coming home that gives life and re-birth and hope?
They had given him wings, and now it was time to go back to his roots.
He needed to remember that he belonged.
That’s how the Father is with us. When we have been so wrong, when we have failed Him or others, all He asks of us is what those parents asked of their son: just come home.
It’s what the father of the prodigal son wanted most of all for his son: just come home.
It’s what any parent wants for a wayward child or a lost one who is out of the fold: just come home.
It’s what our Heavenly Father wants for us most of all: just come home.
I’ve been there. I might not have been eating the husks fed to the pigs, but I’ve been away. I’ve needed to just come home. Sometimes the wandering begins because of hurt, anger, or grief. We distance ourselves from those who caused the pain; we distance ourselves from God who allowed the pain to happen.
Before we even know what’s happening, we’ve drifted away from home, away from safety, away from the harbor. We don’t recognize what happened to cause us to become distant from our safe harbor. It happens so subtly that sometimes we’re drifting far from the shore before we realize we’re treading dangerous waters. That’s when it’s time to just come home.
It’s the best place to be, and the best place to go when we’ve wandered, failed, and messed up completely.
If you’re in a place far from home; if you’ve wasted your time, your energy, your money, and your life; if you’ve spent until you’re penniless, just go home.
The lights of Home are still on, begging you to come in. There’s a welcome there – just for you. There is love and forgiveness waiting at Home.
Just come home.