Why Are You Coming Back!

Many of us are familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. At some point the son realized that his life was in shambles and that returning to his father was necessary for staying alive. It says in the story that when the son thought about going back to the father his game plan was to throw himself at his father’s feet, beg for his forgiveness and ask to be accepted back as a servant. He did not know exactly how his father would respond but expected that he would want an explanation as to why he was returning. And the son expected that there would be conditions he would have to meet to be accepted back. The son knew he had brought embarrassment and shame on his father and the family, and as a result of his actions he most likely would never be restored to a position of sonship. However, that was okay with him as long as he could just be in the household and no longer separated from his father. He knew it was safe there and his needs would be met.

What is so encouraging about this story is the total, unconditional love demonstrated by the father. He didn’t require anything from the son. There were no questions like, “Why are you coming back?” No demands, no explanations needed just total, unconditional acceptance.

I am certain the father’s response stunned this young man. I am just as certain that many of us in some ways are like this prodigal. We may have strayed away from God and are not sure He will accept us back to the position we had before we left. Even if He does we think He will want to know why we are returning. In his book, The Road To Daybreak, Henri Nouwen wrote, “God does not require a pure heart before embracing us. Even if we return only because following our desires has failed to bring happiness, God will take us back. Even if we return because being a Christian brings us more peace than being a pagan, God will receive us. Even if we return because our sins did not offer as much satisfaction as we had hoped, God will take us back. Even if we return because we could not make it on our own, God will receive us. God’s love does not require any explanations about why we are returning. God is glad to see us home and wants to give us all we desire, just for being home.”

What an incredible statement! God does not care why we are back. He’s just excited to have us back. Our heart does not have to be pure; our reasons for coming back do not even have to be clearly defined.

Maybe you have not totally left but a part of you is in the “far country” and you have discovered it has not brought you the pleasure you thought it would. If you feel somewhat like the prodigal and know you need to return but hesitate to out of fear, rest assured He’s waiting for you to come home.

He is not standing there, with a raised eyebrow, a skeptical look on his face, waiting to ask you, “What do you want and why are you here?” Your Father God is so completely in love with you He does not want to know nor does He care why you came back. He is simply happy to have you back. Do not let the fear of having to explain yourself keep you from coming back to the Father. Do not feel as if you are going to have to justify yourself. The question He will ask is not “why are you coming back” but “when are you coming back?”