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A Long Way Off
by Shannon Heiden
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A Long Way Off
By Shannon Heiden

So he got up and went to his father.
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20

The story of the Prodigal son is one of the most amazing stories in the Bible. I remember when I was a prodigal child of the Lord, I distinctly remember how the Lord showed me this story as if to say, itís ok, Iíve got your wandering covered. I can still remember the warm embrace and the love and mercy He showed to me, and how it changed my whole being.

At this present hour, the Lord has shown me something else about this story. You see this time I am not the prodigal, this time I am the father and the prodigal is one of my own. One of mine, on my watch has gone astray and the pain that I have felt has been like no other. I can remember back to when I was right where this precious one is at today and I remember in my mind how hard it was and how my heart had hurt so badly, the pain was real, it didnít matter really how I got there the fact was, I was there.

Now, to have come out and be completely on the other side, to know His mighty hand of deliverance, to know the One who created me and delights in me, to know that nothing shall separate me from His love, to know this, to walk in this, to live like this is so amazing and yet to go through all of that only to find myself back in it with my own gives my heart such a wound.

Oh this time is so different, I think we can all relate to having found our self in the midst of pain and adversity at some point in our lives, a mess that if God didnít clean up, we wouldnít have gotten out, but itís one thing when it is you and quite another when it is one of your own, a child, who you love and in which words could never adequately describe. To have your heart totally in love with the King, and yet have it completely breaking at the same time is one of the hardest places I have faced in my entire life.

When it was me wandering, I could account for myself, but when I think of my precious one, as much as I want to account for him, I cannot. I am actually powerless to change my little ones heart but the one comfort and hope I do have is I know the One who can.

Last week I was praying, I had the joy and peace of the Lord but my heart was heavy on this particular morning for my son. I opened my Bible in a desperate search for relief for a specific word to comfort my heart and a promise to hold on to. As quickly as I opened it my eyes just as quickly caught this sentence, ďand while he was a long way off the father saw him and ran to him.Ē

I cannot tell you what this one sentence from the Lord did to me. I knew in my heart, in the inner hidden man that my God was telling me, donít worry although he is a long way off, I SEE HIM and I am running to him.

How many of us are a long way off at this very moment? How many of us have for whatever reasons have been wandering and squandering our inheritance and identity? How many of us out there have forgotten whose child we are and where our home is?

I know there have been times in my life when I have done exactly that but I also can tell you that I know what it is to come to my senses and remember my Father and get up and come home. How many reading this right now with tears running down your face need to hear the words Ďitsí ok Iíve got you covered, and though youíre a long way off, I SEE YOU and I AM running to you?Ē

I may not know your name, I may not know your pain but the lie of the enemy is always the same and you can get up right now and come home to your Father and be sure of this, He sees you before you see him and it is He that runs to you always.

Many times we think that we have gone to far away, we have done too much and many times because we donít love ourselves we think we are unworthy of Him loving us, but I have to tell you I am living proof that God is not a man that He should lie and He will never deny His own.

And while you are a long way off, the Father Sees you and runs to you and He throws His loving arms around you and kisses you.

Come home youíve wandered long enough.

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