I spent several years as a prodigal, fighting, running, and avoiding healing at all costs.

It wasn’t until years later that I realized things could have been so much worse. Even though I was avoiding any discipline that God was giving, He was still there. He was still putting people in my way and driving me back to the life I was meant to live.

I already knew I was wrong, God didn’t have to point it out for me.

Rather than rushing in and forcing me to submit, He waited for me to realize I was eating with pigs and yearn for His comfort. There were plenty of others around that would remind me if I ever started to forget. I was spending half my day punishing myself for bad choices, and the other half trying to forget them for a moment.  I needed a safe place to stop running, not corporal punishment. But how did God know it was my time?

How did He know the exact moment that I would collapse so that He could put His arms out for me?

The obvious answer is that He is God, but a few years ago I learned something amazing about God’s love for us. Pastor Doug Barton was teaching on the prodigal son. The story was pretty familiar to me, so I wasn’t expecting any great revelations. The pastor described the son’s journey back home. He would have been a broken humiliated man, expecting the worst, but something surprising happened. His father saw him returning while he was “still a long way off” (Luke 16:220), and Pastor Doug made a point that opened my eyes. He said the only way the father could have seen the son coming from so far away, was if he was actively watching for him to return.  

This painted the perfect picture of God. He doesn’t sit behind a big desk waiting for us to check in like it’s a Dr.’s appointment. He’s out on the edge of the porch, pacing the floor, squinting his eyes, and straining for the first glimpse of the moment we realize how much He loves us.

He is waiting for us to stop running away and start running towards Him.

Imagine staring down a country road, focusing on that point where the road and the sky meld into one. God is there, waiting for us to trust Him enough to move in His direction a little more. Some of us need to run to Him seeking forgiveness, or healing, or comfort. For others He’s waiting for us to pursue the passion that the Spirit is lighting under us.

He knows when it catches us, we again, will run to Him.  

Whether you think you’re ready or not I encourage you to run to Him! Don’t worry about what you’ll say when you get there, He knows your heart and wants to wrap you in His arms like the world-weary son returning home. He’s already unlocked your shackles, but we hang on to them because they are familiar. They’re hanging loosely around your ankles wearing you down every day.

Step outside the pain the world has chained you to and run. I promise no matter what you’ve done, He is waiting for you with outstretched arms.

Whether you’ve just started your walk with Christ, or you are coming back into relationship with Him, I invite you to join our free community of the most encouraging faith-led women I’ve ever met, Christian Women Who Lead!

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