—But when he was yet a great way off-–Luke 15;20
All of us can think of someone in need of being reconciled to God–someone who is yet a great way off. It might be that they have realized their need and resolved to come to God, but are “yet a great way off”. And, although closer than they were they are no better off. All is not well until reconciliation has been secured. Whether on the road to the “far country”, in the pig pen, or on the way home there is no embrace by the father, no robe for his back, no ring on his finger, no shoes on his feet, and no banquet celebrating his return.
Of his own volition he broke fellowship with his father and left. He could have stayed of returned at any moment. Now he is headed in the right direction, but “a great way off” and could turn on his heels at anytime. It was not until he and the father were reconciled that you could say all was well. Until then anything could happen.
Even so, it might be that some of you have given up hope of your loved one ever coming to God — after all, they seem such “a great way off”. Their situation doesn’t appear possible–it is against all odds. In your mind all hope is gone. You’ve written them off as a “hopeless case”. But why? The story of the prodigal should give you a window of hope. Do not despair! God is at work. He is actively involved in each life and willing to accept all who receive Him.
We too often focus on what the person is or isn’t doing, rather than reminding ourselves that God is doing something. That’s why we get discouraged so easily. As long as your loved one is alive the last chapter of their life hasn’t been written. Why should you believe the worst will happen? Is it not much more likely that God will intervene, bless your efforts, and answer your prayers? Although they are blinded to the truth He can open the eyes of their understanding (Ephesians 1:18) and bring them to repentance. Your loved one might yet be a “great way off”, but they might be much closer than you think to that glorious encounter with God that will change their life forever –maybe just a step away! Don’t give up!