One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of the prodigal son. I like to consider it one of the most relatable and moving stories that Jesus tells us throughout his lifetime.

If you are unfamiliar with the parable I’m talking about, I encourage you to read Luke 15:11-32. It tells the story of a son who leaves home, sins against God and his own father, and eventually comes back home to be joyfully welcomed back by his father. The prodigal son’s brother is angry at the fact that his father is so happy and quick to welcome his son back into their home, instantly forgiving him for the wrong, sinful things he did while he was away.

The last verse of this passage, Luke 15:32, says, “We have to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.

This verse really speaks to me. So many times, I see Christ followers turn away from God and are too embarrassed to run back to him. The devil puts thoughts and assumptions into their heads.

“I’m too far gone.”

“God could never love me after the things I’ve done.”

“My sin is too great.”

“I’ll be judged at church if I go back.”

These are all lies that Satan likes to fill your head with, and the sad part is, they’re easy to fall for. These thoughts are convincing, influential, but most importantly, far from the truth. God always welcomes us back into his arms, no matter the sins we’ve committed.

There are times in my own life that I’ve felt this same way. I’ve felt the need to hide my sin from God and push him further and further away. But at the end of the day, this not only creates distance between God and myself, but causes me to fall more and more into my own worldly desires.

The thing is: God is always waiting for us to run back to him, no matter how far away we go. His unconditional love is constant and never goes away or runs out.

Let me remind you of this verse:

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

How amazing is that? If you are in Christ, you are a new creation, regardless of the things you’ve done in your past. You can leave your old self behind and become an entirely new person with God along your side.

I encourage you to run back to God. If you’ve fallen away, that’s okay! God will always be there to welcome you home into his arms. Sometimes all it takes is swallowing your pride and surrendering your past to Him. Your life will never be the same!

– Chelsea