Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Story About a Prodigal Son and a Weepy Mother Continued

Hello friend!  Back to my story from yesterday... So we were reading the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15.  In the Storybook Bible, it's only a 4 page story, and by page 3, I was a blubbering mess y'all.  I could hardly get the words out. 

 Now, don't go thinking, "Wow I'm impressed..she gets an 18 month old and a 3 month old to listen to a 4 page story and I can't even get my kid to look at me for 2 seconds to wipe his face off?" Neither can I, of course neither of the boys are old enough to really understand what I am reading or really even pay attention.  Little bear was building block towers on Spiderman's lap and baby bear was kicking and cooing over the hanging mobile above him, but I was completely enthralled by the love of the Father, and overwhelmed by an immense amount of joy for a child returning home.  

Before children, I understood the great love of my Father, but now, it overwhelms me most day, maybe because I am in a constant state of needing heaps of grace and patience. And reading stories like this, with 2 boys of my own, I can only imagine this daddy's joy as his boy was walking down that path heading for home.  I can envision him rising before the sun to look down that dirt road to see if his boy was returning, and periodically throughout the day, looking up from his work, looking for the silhouette of his child. And his mama...I bet she was constantly peering out the window while she washed the dishes, hoping to see her baby.  She's probably rubbed the print off of several pieces of china as she's scrubbed and scrubbed, praying, looking, and waiting.  

I know the heartache of parents and siblings yearning for their children to return home, whether they have left home angry, they have left thinking they know better or know it all, whether they are lost in addictions, or have been called Home and are no longer here with us.  I've prayed for these children, these brothers and sisters, these moms and dads.  We plead for them before the Father in church on Sundays, we pray fervently for them in community group,  while we are gathered around the table for meals with empty seats, our hearts long for them to come back to us.  I've prayed for the "return" of so many, and experienced the joy of some of their returns...returning home is joyous but returning to the Lord, oh that is party worthy!

  This father didn't hate his son for leaving, he wanted him back.  I can't imagine how it pained him to even let him go but knew that it was something that had to be done.  The son had to learn for himself how deep the father's love was for him.  And it is the same with our Heavenly Father.

Let me just end with this excerpt.  Here's the last 2 pages of the story.  Sally does such a beautiful job retelling it...

"As he starts for home though, he begins to worry.  Dad won't love me anymore.  I've been too bad.  He won't want me for his son anymore.  So he practices his I'm-Sorry-Speech.  
  All this time, what he doesn't know is that, day after day, his dad has been standing on his porch, straining his eyes, looking into the distance, waiting for his son to come home.  He just cant stop loving him.  He longs for the sound of his boy's voice.  He cant be happy until he gets him back.
  The son is still a long way off, but his dad sees him coming.
  What will the dad do?  Fold his arms and frown? Shout, "That'll teach you!"  And, "Just you wait, young man!"

  No.  That's not how this story goes.

  The dad leaps off the porch, races down the hill, through the gap in the hedge, up the road.  Before his son can even begin his I'm-Sorry-Speech, his dad runs to him, throws his arms around him, and can't stop kissing him.  

  "Let's have a party!" his dad shouts.  "My boys home.  He ran away.  I lost him - but now I have him back!"

  Jesus told them, "God is like the dad who couldn't stop loving his boy.  And people are like the son who said, 'Does my dad really want me to be happy?' "

  Jesus told people this story to show them what God is like.  And to show people what they are like.
  So they could know, however far they ran, however well they hid, however lost they were - it wouldn't matter.  Because God's children can never run too far, or be too lost, for God to find them."

If you are waiting for your prodigal to return, take heart!  Your Father knows all about this, He waited for you, too, remember?!  Pray without ceasing, keep looking, and continue waiting.  Don't lose heart or give up hope.  We serve a mighty big God!

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