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Prodigal Daughter Wounded and Wandering

Prodigal Daughter Wounded and Wandering

Stay with God

Imagine the prodigal son’s disposition upon his return.

He was most likely preparing himself for some harsh discipline from his father. After all, his share of the inheritance was now officially squandered. He knew he’d messed up and probably prepared his heart for the worst kind of punishment. I (Britt) know I would have. The son confessed to what he had done, ready for whatever retribution came next. But there was not one word of condem­nation from his father.

Instead, the father dressed him in fine clothing and placed a ring on his finger. Surely the prodigal son felt unworthy, but all the father wanted him to do was to return home to his family where he belonged. Jesus didn’t say this in the parable, but I would like to think that the father had forgiveness in his heart toward his son the moment he left home.

The son’s heart posture wasn’t to return as a son but as a worker and a servant. While he was still on his far­away journey, he reasoned, My father’s workers get treated better than this. I will return as a worker in humility, realizing my low position. I’m not going back to reclaim a safe and comfy spot as a son, but I realize I have nothing, and I need to go home (Luke 15:19).

The son had a humble and repentant heart. He knew he had made a grave mistake, and he didn’t have a heart of entitlement. God’s mercy is magnified even more when we return to him with a heart of repentance, humility, and realizing our need for him. When we hit bottom and realize our desperate need for God, the only place we want to be is home. We’ve all been in that wander­ing place. That place we swore to ourselves we’d never fall back into once we dedicated our lives to Christ. Sadly, some of us stay in that place, thinking there’s no possible way that God could take us back after what we’ve done. We are hesitant to be exposed to the light — His light — because of all the things we allowed to pile up in the darkness.

Surrendering every broken part of ourselves feels like a mountain of a task that is just too unbearable to take on, so we resist and isolate from him. But

if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. — 1 John 1:9 ESV

If this is you today, give Him your burdens (Psalm 55:22).

  • Come back to God, and stay with Him.

Like the loving father in the story of the prodigal son, our heavenly Father is also watching and waiting for all who have turned away to come back home to him. He is always keeping a close eye on His people, whether it’s for a child returning home or for a heart not yet surrendered.

Maybe that’s you today. Maybe you’ve wandered off and you’re looking around and asking yourself:

How did I get here?
Why do I feel so empty?
Why does God feel so far away?

I want to encourage you with this: He has not left or aban­doned you. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been or how far you’ve wandered away. His door is open to you.

I vividly remember when I turned my eyes back on God after wandering away. I was afraid that he was going to reject me and not want me anymore. What a lie that the Enemy tells us to keep us from running back to God! I knew I had squandered his grace, just like the prodigal son squandered his inheritance. I felt so much guilt and shame, I couldn’t imagine God taking me back and still loving me. After all I had done? No way. But He did. He took me back. He kissed me with His grace. His arms embraced me, and it was as though distance between us had never existed.

  • I realized that life without Christ will always leave me wounded and wandering down paths I was never meant to travel down.

See, His goodness is designed to lead us into changed and repentant hearts. Understanding God’s love and goodness is key to understanding who we are in Him so we can grow in our relationship with Him.

But remember, friend, faith and trust are required. No turn­ ing back. No U­-turn.

You won’t always feel valuable to God. The Enemy blatantly attacks our feelings and tries to convince us that what we “feel” is what our reality is. You are not going to do this without living by faith and trust. Because those counterproductive feel­ings do come — those little insecurities, needing to fit in and wondering how people feel about you.

If you don’t get a solid understanding of what God says about you, all those insecurities will matter more than what matters most — your relationship with God.

God isn’t the father who is sitting inside with arms crossed, displeased with contempt and anger; rather, he is the Father who is sprinting toward us with open arms when we come back after realizing how far we’ve wandered. His love is displayed in His beautifully orchestrated plan of redemption to save our lost souls. Jesus died for us and paid the price for our sin. God is always searching for us, always keeping His loving eye on us. Before we even make it to his throne, He has already met us halfway.

If you feel like it’s time to stop wandering, pray this with me:

Heavenly Father, I confess that I have wandered from You. I confess to You that I was caught up in the world, and I let my selfishness reign. I repent of my ways and ask for your forgiveness, Lord. You have promised that if I confess my sins, you will wash them clean and forgive me. Please forgive me, Lord. I feel like a prodigal daughter, but I want to return to You now. Thank You for forgiving me and for remaining faithful to me, even when I became faithless and foolish toward You. Thank You for welcoming me back in your loving arms. I pray that from this day forward, I may live the life that You would have me live. Draw close to me, as I draw close to You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Excerpted with permission from Her True Worth by Brittany Maher and Cassandra Speer, copyright Brittany Maher and Cassandra Speer.

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Your Turn

Are you wandering? If so, how? Have you accepted Christ? If so, have you felt on fire for Him for a period of time and then found yourself drawing back to your old ways? What did that look like? God isn’t mad at you! He's awaiting your return! Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full