Monday, May 19, 2008

The Prodigal Sister

There was once a story told- a parable- of a prodigal son, his father, and his older brother. The younger son, the prodigal, asked for his inheritance, left his father's estate, and "squandered his property in reckless living" (Lk 15: 13, ESV). When he became destitute, he thought of going home and asking for his father's forgiveness. The image of the father, waiting day in and day out for his long-lost son, is so beautiful, and so comforting, for Jesus showed through this parable the merciful, forgiving, generous, and loving nature of our Heavenly Father.

The older brother's reaction, however, was what led me to write this post. Let's take a look at what happened further in Luke 15:

"Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.

And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’

But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him,

but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.

But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’

And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.

It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

I realized today while I was brushing my teeth that I was this other child before God. I refused to celebrate because I still had issues against Him, of why He did not seem to notice the many years I had served Him, and of how in all those years I did not disobey His commands. I got hurt, further, whenever I saw how others who "squandered his property" appeared to be more blessed than me.

This is selfishness. Sooner or later I would turn out to be "lost" and "dead" if I do not look up to see how blessed I am to have been in my Father's house (so to speak), to be of service to Him, and to be able to hear His commandments and to obey them.

I admit that I'm struggling in this area now.

Lord, help me to see your love from your perspective, not mine. Help me to love You, myself, and others. Help me to receive love from You, myself, and others. Please help me get over these feelings of insecurity, jealousy, inferiority, and envy. They do not glorify You and they are not life-giving to anyone, especially to me. Help me to grow more in love and generosity that the love I give may be purified by Your example. Amen.

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