Luke 15:20: "...but while he was still a long way off, his father saw
him and felt compassion for him and ran and embraced him and kissed him."

Do you ever take your eyes off of your children? You know, just for a
second. Say you are at the zoo and you have three kids with you and
you bend down to tie a shoe and when you look up the 21 month old has
wandered off....

You immediately sense panic. Frantically, you start looking around,
yelling her name, asking everyone around you to look for a blonde
haired toddler....

And then you see her....just calmly sitting in the grass, looking at a
fresh flower. Smiling. Like nothing is wrong....

Relief. Praise. Maybe a little frustration, but nothing even
resembling anger; most of all, overwhelming thankfulness and love. Joy
that she is back where she belongs. Safe in my arms, in my home, in
her family....where she fits.

And it makes me realize that when I wander, God feels the same way
about me. My meanderings don't just take me to a flower bed at the
zoo, however. I get bogged down by caring for my children and my
husband. By doing laundry and yet another sink full of dishes. By
planning the homeschool year, or by perusing yet a different book to
use for math. And the next thing I know, I have wandered from my
heavenly Father who loves me more than I can even imagine loving
someone. The same feelings that I have when one of my earthly children
wander from me are shared by the God who created me "in my inmost
being", who knew me from before time began.

Fortunately for me (for all of us!), God never takes His eyes off of
us. Not even for a second. He always knows where we are, and He always
gently bids us back. And when we come, He runs to embrace us and kiss
us and welcome us home.

Right where we belong.

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