Confident he could manage himself he looked at his father and demanded what he was owed. He was eager for life out from under his father's guidance. Looking back at him with sadness his father gave him what he asked. He enjoyed living his way until he ran out of resources, but he then soon discovered his inability to preserve his own life. While wollowing in the mire with a passel of hogs he came to himself in desperation and remembered the blessings of his father's house. He returned home understanding the enormity of his wasteful behavior and considered himself worthy of only servanthood, but he knew serving in his father's house was better than where he had fallen. Though he deserved far less, when he returned he was greeted with his father's outstretched arms and a robe for his back. His father celebrated and brought him back into the family as an heir. He was still his father's son. (See Luke 15:11-32.)
Like the prodigal we are often driven by self-preservation to take our lives into our own hands, and we end up squandering it away wastefully. As a result we develop corrupted views of God and live in fear of His punishment. But He is our Father, and He wants us to know Him as Father.
Though we do suffer the consequences of our unwise choices, God is not seeking ways to punish us. Rather, God desires good things for us because He loves us deeply. Jesus demonstrated this truth through this parable. The father allowed his son to choose the route of self-preservation and then suffer the consequences of his wasteful choices, but the father went out everyday to watch for his son's return. When his son finally made it back home the father ran to greet him, and he embraced him and placed him back in his house as his own.
Paul said, "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, 'Abba! Father!'" (Romans 8:15, ESV).
Paul also said, "And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'" (Galatians 4:6, ESV).
Jesus asked, "Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Matthew 7:9-11, NKJV).
David encouraged, "Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved" (Psalms 55:22, ESV).
And the Apostle Peter said, "Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you" (I Peter 5:7, ESV).
We are God's children, and He wants us to depend on Him. Jesus said to enter His kingdom we must come to Him as children. (See Matthew 18:3.) He watches and waits for our return to Him, and when we do return He upholds us and does not let us fall. He is our loving and caring Father. He is Abba!