Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In Different Shoes

As I was laying in bed, my thoughts turned to the story of the Lost Son in Luke 15. Click here if you haven't read the account before. My thoughts turned into a message, and so here I am at 12:30AM posting a blog with something God has laid on my heart so share with people, even if its just you dear reader.

There was this father who had 2 sons. One day the younger came to him, and asked for his share of the families wealth. Upon receiving it, he moved away and began to live every hour engaging in every kind of pleasurable activity. Eventually the son's wealth ran out, and he was forced to stoop to eating with pigs.

He came to his senses one day, and deciding that working for his father as a servant is better than his current life, he returned home. His father saw him coming off in the distance and recognized him instantly. His father had waited for him! When he returned he took in his son as his son and not as a servant and planned a celebration.

The older son meanwhile was out working, and when he came in, he was puzzled as to the reason for the party. When a servant told him his brother had returned, and they were celebrating he became angry and would not go inside. His father came out to him, trying to get him to come in and welcome his brother back, but the older refused. The story ends by the father reminding the older son of his love for both of them.

I’ve been the lost son before. I’ve left my Father because I was not satisfied. I look back on the pleasures I sought and I shake my head and ask "Why did I waste what I had on that?”

But at the same time that I’ve been the lost son, I’ve also been the older son. Working for the Father, I take little joy in doing what He asks of me. And even though I am receiving an inheritance from Him, that isn’t enough to make me happy. I become jealous and claim that the Father is withholding good things from me.

It is the younger son who we know of as the lost son who is humble enough to return to his Father, to admit his foolishness. And like the Shepherd who rejoiced more over the 1 lost sheep that was found compared to the 99 that didn’t go astray, the father in the story rejoices more over his younger son returning. But to both the father shows love. Equal love, not by our standards but by God’s who I believe is in fact the Father in this story.

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