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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 days.

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 needs.

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 that way.

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!” (Excuse me?)

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 Church]


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