Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, “What is God willing to do to bring me back to Himself?” It’s a question I have pondered many times in my life.
The question reminds me of a story I once heard about a young man who constantly quarreled with his father. Finally, he left home without saying goodbye. He continued to keep in touch with his mother but cut connections with his dad. After a few years, he wanted to come home for Christmas very badly, but he was afraid his dad would not allow it. His mom wrote to him and urged him to come home. Inside, he felt he couldn’t do that until he knew his father had forgiven him. He and his mother wrote back and forth a few times about it. Finally, there was little time for any more letters. His mother wrote once more and said she would talk to his dad. If he had forgiven him, she would tie a white rag on the tree right next to the railroad tracks in their back yard. He would be able to see the tree before the train reached the station. If there was no rag, he would go on and not stop.
The young man started home. As the train got close to home, he became so nervous he couldn’t look out the window. So he said to a man sitting next to him, “I can’t bear to look. Would you sit in my place and look out the window for that big tree in my back yard next to the tracks. Tell me if there is a rag on it or not.” As the new friend peered out the window, after a while the man said, “Oh, I see the tree.” The son asked, “Is there a white rag tied to it?” There was an awkward silence full of anticipation. The man responded in a soft voice, placing a hand on the son’s shoulder and said, “There is a white rag tied to every limb of the tree.”
What is God willing to do to show us that it’s time to come back home? More than our feeble minds could ever know or comprehend.
I pray you will join us for worship this coming Sunday. We will continue looking at the story of Jonah and five things God will do that call us to come back home.