I want to tell you a quick story about a father and his child. 

There was a father who had a son, and his son didn’t appreciate him very much. When the son was younger he would constantly do things against what the father willed. It was unfortunate, but the father couldn’t allow the son to continue to live with him if he wasn’t going to follow the father’s rules. Even though the son didn’t understand the rules and like them very much, the father knew that they were in place to protect the son from the choices he would make that would lead to distraction. Either way, the son did his own thing. The father was patient and loved the son very much but didn’t approve of the life the son decided to live. This never stopped the father from helping his son out whenever he needed it. The choices that the son would make often lead to a need for help to get out of difficulties. Though the father would help, the son would constantly make negative remarks to others about the father. When things got difficult the son not only would accept the help of the father, but even go as far as to steal from him. The father would get angry, but his love for his son wouldn’t allow for him to keep help from the son whenever he asked. Finally there came a time when the father just couldn’t help out anymore because the son had gotten himself in too deep. After this came to pass the son separated himself from the father. So much so that the son began to claim that he had no father. He gave away the father’s belongings, cast dirt on his name, and even told the father he had no place with the son. Though this hurt the father, he knew that he had no choice but to allow the son to keep making the poor choices he was making and wait for him to come to his senses; something that may never come to pass. 

After some time passed the news of the son’s incarceration came to the father. When the father heard this his heart was in pieces. No one knew what to do, and it was the popular opinion that the son deserved what he would get. Alone and wondering who would help the son realized while in jail that there was no one left who he hadn’t hurt. He wondered who would help him and what people might think of him as news of his charges circulated within his community. Against the wishes of those around, and against the advice of loved ones the father wrote a check and sent it with a messenger to pay the bail and free the son. Though he couldn’t take away the consequences for the son’s actions, he could grant freedom and show how unconditional love actually exists. 

This was a true story that reminded me of the Father’s love for us. When I heard this story it broke deep in to the depths of my heart. Se we hurt the Father often and not only ran  from Him, we only called Him when we needed something. We spoke ill of Him and we brought dishonor to His name. As we ran from Him and wrote Him off to do our own thing we found ourselves incarcerated to our lives of sin. Unable to break free and wallowing in our despair unsure of who will help us since we have separated ourselves from the Father. Yet His grace and unconditional love paid the price for our freedom. The good news is that even though we have separated ourselves from the Father and ran far from Him when we were still sinners He pursued us and paid the price for our freedom. The questions is will you accept the freedom given you? Will you believe that no matter how much you feel you have hurt the Father, He still loves you unconditionally and welcomes you back with open arms!