A son takes his inheritance and goes off to a foreign land and spends all of his money on foolish living.
A severe famine strikes the land he is in and he falls on hard times. Eventually he goes back home and seeks to return as a servant to his dad, but instead is welcomed back as a son.
We all have different views on who God is and what type of person (sorry) He is. To some God is authoritative and distant, only willing to judge us when we do wrong. Many see Him as loving and kind, ready to forgive us and forget. And those things are true. But do we see God as patient? Expectant? Or hurting?
The prodigal son knew his father, because he had grown up around him for the first 18-20 years of his life until he decided to go out on his own. Having spent time around his dad, the son saw a authority figure. He saw a loving father and a kind and caring business man who took care of his workers. So the younger son had a pretty good idea of who his father was. Yet, because of what he had become as a result of foolish living, the son did not know what to expect when decided to go back hom.
It says that the father paced outside his home, looking across the horizon for his son. Patiently waiting for his return day after day. Then one day his father, going through his daily routine, seeing the son from a great distance away, ran out to meet him. No one expects God to run out and meet them. But He does. When we return to Him, by way of the Cross of Calvary.
It does not matter how you lived your life before coming back home. It does not matter what you did before returning home. All that matters to the Father is that you see the lost condition you are in (sin) and come home. Luke 19:10 The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.
At one point we were all lost. But God sent His Son Jesus to renew us and turn us back to Him. We are accepted by God because of His grace, not our merits. Be assured we can never sink to deep for God to reach us. With open arms He is running to greet us.