"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)
While he was still a long way off...
The father knew the son's heart!
He didn't say, "Here comes that scoundrel. What does he expect from me? A loan? Does he think he's coming back to this house after he's spent all my money?"
Perhaps, we are a long way off... from being what God expects of us. We are so far down the road that anyone else might suspect our motives for calling on The Father.
Perhaps, we've been Christian for what we can get out of it. But God can see - even though the distance is great - the direction of our steps and the purpose of our heart
And if that purpose...
is a longing for a renewed relationship,
a closer tie,
to be home with The Father
God's heart will go out to us...
Even though we are "still a long way off"!