There is perhaps no better-known parable than of our Lord’s message of the prodigal son. Jesus tells us of our value, our victory, and our Father’s voice. Whether it’s the one sheep, or the one coin, or the one son, the Lord finds value in the single item, the single soul. Each shows a value that is worth everything to our Lord.

When the one son goes away from the father because their lives were not in agreement (what family hasn’t felt that pain?), the text does not say there was any love lost on the part of the son. Some hard choices are made by the father and the son. The son makes a hard choice to let the lure of the world and the “far country” (Luke 15:13) pull him away from the safety and security of his father’s house. The father makes a hard choice to allow his son to walk away from him. In truth, the father’s choice takes more courage than the choice of the son. It hurts to know your child is going to be hurt and you cannot stop it.

If you’re familiar with the parable, you know the son wastes away his inheritance. He lives it up and holds nothing back. In the end, his famine of faith leads him to a famine of fortune, friends, and food. He finds a job feeding pigs and is tempted to eat their food (vs. 16). He knows life was better with his father, and “when he came to himself” (vs. 17) he goes home. His welcome home is more than he imagined and better than he deserved.

One of the most beautiful pictures painted of divine forgiveness is the image of an earthly father pouring grace, not guilt, on a wayward son who chose to walk the road back home. One thing would have made this homecoming bitter and not sweet: If the son had returned with the pigpen. When our hearts ache for home, abandoning sin and seeking the Sovereign Father is our only answer.

Today, I will…reflect on the times in my life when God’s patience and love lead me out of sin and back to His salvation. Reflect on the struggles you face today and the steps God is leading you to take to overcome them.