Often times we stray so far away from God and assume it isn’t possible for God to welcome us back with open arms. My Freshman and Sophomore year in college were the two years where I struggled with my relationship with Christ. I thought since God forgives us after we sin then it’s okay to sin right? I was wrong, but in that moment, I thought I was right. Between those two years I got so caught up in living a worldly life trying to please those around me, I didn’t realize my relationship with God was falling apart. I would attend church every now and then and ask myself, “why am I living this kind of life?” I wanted to get back into strengthening my relationship with God, but I just felt since I was so distance from Him, He wouldn’t want me back. There would be days I would cry, asking God to change my ways but then do the opposite of what I was asking Him to do.
Towards the end of sophomore year I realized it was time I stop living for the world and I wanted to live for God. It was a tough reality because I knew I was going to have to separate myself from the people I use to hang around on campus, but I knew it was for the better.
After reading Luke 15:11-20 I had a realization of how much grace God gives us even when we stray away and get caught up in the things of this world. If you don’t know much about the story let me tell you how it went down and how everything lined up with how God treats His children.
A man had two sons, one wanted his father to share the estate with him, so the father decided to split the estate between the two sons. One of the sons gathered all he had and left the country and “squandered his wealth in wild living.” He eventually needed to get a job somewhere because he spent all he had; that later fell through, so he decided to head back home to his father. He got to his father and told him, “Father I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.” When he ran into his father his father was filled with joy because his son made it back home. The father’s immediate reaction was to get him clothed and bless him with other things. The father stated, “for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
Here is the most interesting part about this story. The other son came back from the field and was trying to figure out why they had music playing as if they were celebrating something. One of the servants told the son his brother made It back home safe and sound. So, the brother came up angry and refused to celebrate or go into the home because he couldn’t understand why they were celebrating if his brother ran away and sinned. He felt as though the son needed to be punished.
The son told his father, “Look! All of these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a younger goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, and you kill a fattened calf for him!” This last part is my favorite in the story. The father told the son his brother was lost and he is now found and he was once dead and now he is alive. His father wanted to inform the son that this is the perfect time to celebrate. Though, you helped me all this time and stuck by my side your brother has come back and that’s worth a celebration.
This story I feel goes hand and hand with our relationship with God. Though, we may drift away and sin while we are far from God, there is always a place for us in His heart and he will always be there waiting for us to come back with open arms. Imagine how loving you have to be to have that kind of mindset. You know that your kids have done you wrong, but that doesn’t take away the love you have for your kids.
So, to answer the question, “If I stray away from God is it too late to come back?” No, it’s never too late. The Important part is you make It back to Him before judgement day, and even then God is still giving you an option.
Remember this, when you stray away from God, He will always welcome you back. Your blessings are times 1000 and He will never leave nor forsake you.