In the same way I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10
For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate. Luke 15:24
My granddaughter Faith is currently living with us. Any time she leaves the house and returns she announces, “I'm heeeeere!” She knows that having her here with us is a great source of joy. She knows that we miss her when she is gone and are happy when she returns. She knows this because she is secure in our love.
In his book, “The Return of the Prodigal” Henri Nowen talks about the deep love of the Father for all of His children, wayward or not (although frankly I don't know anyone who's never been a wayward child). The story of the prodigal illustrates how our Father actively waits for us. The prodigal returns broken and apologetic but the father isn't looking for apologies.
We all wander off, far for an hour, a day, a week or sadly, longer but the important point is that when we come back our Father, our precious Abba, is waiting with open arms. Beyond that He does not want us to come with our tails between our legs, dragging our feet, faces contorted from guilt. He wants us to be secure in His everlasting love.
In his book Nowen says, “God is looking for you. He will go anywhere to find you. He loves you, He wants you home. He cannot rest unless you are with him.” When we return to our Father's side perhaps we should arrive like Faith and announce. “I'm heeeere!” in our happiest voice. After all that is exactly what He's been waiting for with open arms and unconditional love.