Luke 15:20-24 (KJV)
And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
My child ran cross-country for the first time a few years ago. Let me just say he hates to run and did not want to do it. But once he started running everyday and saw the results on his body of running, he loved it. His coached timed him not long after he starting running and it was not very good. At the first meet, he improved his time by over 6 minutes.
I was so happy and joyful for him.
Then there are the times that his teenager attitude sends me over the deep end and I may not be very joyful with my son. He makes wrong decisions and I am so disappointed and upset – not very joyful.
In the prodigal son parable, the son wanted his inheritance from his father. He wanted to leave and go be an adult. Once he had his inheritance, he started living a life that was not very good and squandered his money away. After living a not so good life, he decided to return home. He had already prepared himself for an unhappy greeting from his father.
BUT what did his father do? He greeted him with love, compassion, happiness, joy. He was so happy to have his son back. He knew he was dead but now he was alive again.
Our Heavenly Father has this same joy and compassion for us. No matter what we do, we can get on our knees and ask for forgiveness. Jesus already paid the ultimate price for our sins. Our Heavenly Father wants us to be saved. He wants to put his arms around us. He wants to kiss us. He wants to put the best robe and rings on our hand.
Since our Father displays this love for us, should we not display this love to others? Should we not let go of those hard feelings because someone said something we did not like? Should we not forgive our husband for forgetting our anniversary? Should we not show our children love when they succeed and when they fail?
Is there someone you need to call or send a joyful note to? Remember your Heavenly Father has forgiven you for all your wrongs, what about forgiving someone who wronged you?