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Job 34:21, Jesus weeping for Jerusalem in Luke 19 & the prodigal son account of Luke 15.
My wife and I are just about to complete our first real taste of the “empty nest” life. Our high school sons were both traveling, one for a school music trip and the other with a friend’s family on a Spring Break trip which resulted in a 2-day overlap of the “empty nest” for Sarah and I. With our kids already being pretty active, one with a part time job, both involved in extracurriculars, both with an active group of friends, the “date night” concept isn’t new to us. We often find ourselves eating dinner by ourselves or with a free afternoon to spend as we please while our kids are off doing “their thing” but this time was different.
As I clicked on my “Find My Friends” app that I use to track the whereabouts of those closest to me I was taken back by the distance of their little faces. We certainly don’t have the privilege of spending every minute of everyday with our sons but even when we’re not next to them I’ve always known that they were close. Perhaps at school, perhaps at work, maybe seeing a movie or ice skating with friends, but always within easy reach. Throughout our little taste of empty nesting I often found myself zooming in, in an effort to see more detail on exactly where they were. At times I was able to zoom in, in such a way as to decipher exactly which building they were in and there by deduce exactly what they were doing. The question of, “Are they okay?” always unanswered until the next phone call or FaceTime that calmed our fears.
As I’ve reflected on this experience for the last few days I’ve been reminded of a few spiritual truths that I tend to forget. God always sees me. I’m never off the map in God’s eyes. In the same way that I zoom in on my kids to better understand exactly what they’re up to, God in His omniscience knows exactly where I am and what I’m up to. He sees me. Even in those moments when I feel alone, when I feel as though my prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, He hears me. He knows exactly where I’m at and I’m always within reach of His saving hand. Job 34:21 (NIV) says, “His eyes are on the ways of mortals; he sees their every step.”
I’ve also been reminded that God’s heart breaks when we are far from Him. When God clicks His figurative “Find My Kids” app is He disappointed and saddened at the distance we’ve created between us and Him? In the same way that Jesus wept for Jerusalem in Luke 19 His heart breaks for us when we wander.
Our younger son returned home this morning. As I opened the front door and welcomed him back in I was reminded of a final truth. God always welcomes us home. Regardless of how long we’ve wandered, what we’ve done, how often we made promises we failed to keep, God welcomes us back home into His loving arms. Like the prodigal son account of Luke 15 God stands at the door, elated and overjoyed to grant us full access to all that was previously ours.
I pray that you would be reminded that God has not forgotten you. I pray that you are reminded that God’s heart break for you and that He longs for nothing greater than to welcome you home. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.