A few weeks ago, a 32-year-old woman by the name of
Jennifer Wilbanks set off a nationwide hunt for her
as fears of abduction and maybe even murder became
the talk of news stations all across the airwaves.
Rescue teams were put on alert, and volunteers gave
up days of work to search for her while the shadow
of suspicion began to grow longer upon her fiancé
who had planned to marry her within a few short
As we all came to discover, it turned out to be a
simple case of “cold feet” and a “runaway bride. ”
Thankfully, that was the case as far as her life
goes, but many people have become very irritated
that one woman would put so many other people at
risk and inconvenience for the sake of her own
Let’s consider ourselves for a moment. Any
fugitives among us? Maybe someone reading this is on
the run. Maybe someone is thinking about running
away. Maybe you’d love to run away right now, but
something deep down inside of you is keeping you
where you are. But that doesn’t change your secret
desire to want to run. You’re not the first to feel
In scripture, God makes sure to tell us several
stories of runaways. Some are running from
circumstances. Some are running for their lives.
Some are running from God.
God would consider anyone who hasn’t accepted His
forgiveness in Jesus to be on the run from Him. And
let’s all be honest here: all of us have at one time
or another run from God. We have broken His laws,
turned our backs on Him, and became runaways.
Can we come back? Of course! The good news is
that God has been dealing with runaways for
thousands of years. He shows us these runaways in
scripture to teach us both about Him and teach us
how to come home.
Following Easter, we will be looking at some of
these runaway stories during our sermon time. I’m
very excited about this series because not only are
these fascinating and exciting stories, they also
have many hidden points of interest within the
background of that time as well as many deep
spiritual truths and lessons to learn. After all,
who doesn’t love a good story? God loves them. God
tells many stories. God uses these to grow our faith
and our trust and our hope.
I ran away once. I was just a little lad frustrated
with a mother who was cooking and cleaning and
caring for me in more ways than I recognized back
then. (What was I thinking?) And so in a moment of
frustration, I announced I was running away from
home. My mother’s response? “Okay, I’ll help you!”
As told by her, I went out the front door with a few
belongings and a sandwich, walked down the sidewalk
about ten steps, and then stopped. Now where do I
go? Now what do I do? I had no place to run to! I
eventually came back. Mom smiled at me as I walked
by her to my room. I remember feeling comforted that
I didn’t go as I had thought I wanted.
Good news for runaways: God wants us back. He has
sent out a search party for us (church evangelism),
He has turned on the light for us (the Holy
scriptures), and He has a plan to rescue us (Jesus).
He has a loving and wonderful home waiting for us
(heaven), and He has planned a warm reception for
us. What more could any runaway ask for? May-be it’s
time we all run back to Him.
[Ron Otto, Preaching Minister, Lincoln Christian