So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." Luke 15:20
Many people are sorry that they made a mess but not sorry enough to clean it up. Too many of us are like a child who throws his food on the floor, says, "I'm sorry, Mommy," and toddles off to make another mess. We say too flippantly, "Sorry, God," but refuse to deal with the consequences of our sin. The story of the prodigal son shows us a different picture of repentance.
To say the prodigal son made a mess is an understatement. He showed disrespect to his father by demanding his inheritance, distanced himself from his family, squandered the money on immoral living, and ended up friendless, famished and filthy, feeding pigs. But when he "came to his senses" to return home, he reasoned that his actions disqualified him from being a son; he would ask to return as a hired hand. He was willing to accept the consequences of his sin. That's true repentance.
True repentance leads to forgiveness. When we turn back to God, He is there with arms wide open. Maybe the Father is waiting for you to return home today.
Lord, speak to the person reading this who needs to deal with a particular sin that has taken them far from You. Remind them that You are waiting to forgive. Remind them that, like the prodigal son, they need to make the journey home. In Jesus' name. Amen.