Saturday, April 16, 2011

Some Confessions From The Prodigal Son's Brother

And He said, "A man had two sons.  "The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' So he divided his wealth between them.  And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.  Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished.  "So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  "And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.  "But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!  'I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men."'  "So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.  "And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'  "But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate.  "Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.  "And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be.  "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 became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.  "But he answered and said to his father, 'Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.'  "And he said to him, 'Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.  'But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.'" [Luke 15:11-32 NAS]

As I have said many times before, part of my calling is to be as honest about myself as I can possibly be.  Therefore, I must confess that there are times when I feel like the prodigal son’s brother.

No, it has nothing to do with having a problem with our Heavenly Father’s immeasurable grace.  For it has been made abundantly clear to me that I am as desperately in need of it as anyone ever has been.

There are times, however, when I do have a problem with the way our Heavenly Father is doing things.  For there is so much that seems so unnecessary when I am in one of those moods.

No, I wouldn’t mind so much if the circumstances of my own life were better.  For being in such poor health for as long as I have been does have a tendency to dampen my joy somewhat.

Hence, another confession that needs to be made.  For my periods of belligerence are rooted in selfishness.

No, as a matter of fact, making such a confession is not doing much good for my soul right now.  For all I feel is a deep sense of shame.

You see, I know, which goes far beyond merely having faith in a belief, that there is absolutely nothing unnecessary about anything our Heavenly Father has done, is doing or will do forever and ever.  AMEN!

Alas, my deep sense of shame will ease soon enough.  It always has in the past, and I know that it is all part of this relationship between a loving Father and His wayward son.  For it wouldn’t do for me to get to thinking too highly of myself.

Stay tuned.  There is another part to this that will be published in the next few days.

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