“And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you …” (Isaiah 30:18)
An old song I used to marvel at was called, “He Was There All the Time.” It went: “He was there all the time, Waiting patiently in line.” How that spoke to me! What a kind, wonderful God that bore long with my pursuit of other things. He didn’t hold it against me that He had been last on my list. He was willing to wait patiently in line.
Paul’s message was summarized by Peter: the salvation of every one of us depends on the longsuffering of God. (2 Pet. 3:15) Jesus portrayed the Father as one who waits at the window for His wandering son to return. The father’s hearth and home was just not enough for the dissatisfied young man. So father let him go. What kind of picture is this of a father who lets himself be spurned; who sees the froward heart that must get the wanderlust out of his system, and will wait patiently for his return.
The prophets picture Israel as both a wayward son and an adulterous wife. Time and time again their departure declared that their God was not enough for them. They would not wait on Him; they refused to be content. So He turned them over to their own lusts. He let them taste the bitter fruit of their own way. And when life in the far country had betrayed them, He was waiting in the wings to receive them back.
How long will it take for a prodigal to come home? The goodness of God leads us to repentance. He promises that He will “be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.” (Isa. 30:19) But why make Him wait any longer? Why make Him suffer any longer? The wages of sin have not changed. Don’t tempt a good God. Begin your journey home. Father will see you on the horizon and He will not wait for you to arrive at His door. He will come running your way to hold you once again in His arms.