in, Self-Improvement

Side note: The Prodigal Son

Read Luke 15:11-32, then continue…

I’m sure if you’ve been around my blog for very long, you will have become familiar with my reading of Surprise Me by Terry Esau.  A great book, capturing the essence of growing closer to God by waiting patiently on Him and His timing.  The main concept is to simply pray each day for God to do something unexpected in your life.  “Surprise me, God!”

I read this passage a few days back and got to thinking…did the father of the prodigal son read this book, as well?  I believe the father prayed daily for his son to come to his senses and come home.  I can’t imagine a father who wouldn’t want the best for his son — not to rescue him from this trouble, as that would make him weaker — but to have his son do right.  Each day, I can hear the father saying, “Dear Lord, my son has left my loving arms.  He does not know how much protection I can offer and he does not know all the ways of the world.  Lord, please bring my son home to me, that I can teach him to be a great man.  Please get your hands on my son’s heart and bring him home.”  The father then stands from his bedside and goes to his older son’s room, peeking around the corner, whispering another short prayer to himself, “Thank you, God, for giving my elder son a good heart, that I can spend more time with him before he departs.”

The tables turn one afternoon, on a dusty road leading to the father’s house, as the younger son walks up, thinking to himself how he will restart his relationship with his father, whom he betrayed.  The father glances out the door to survey the sun over his fields when he catches the sight of dust and a figure on the road.  He recognizes, even at a distance, the outline of his sons shoulders, and arms.  He sees his sons figure has changed slightly out of his hunger and change in lifestyle, but inside he knows who is coming home.  He runs out the door, full speed ahead, eyes wide open, ready to bring his son back to his safe haven.

The son, hearing the footsteps running toward him, just began to look up as his father came into full view between the plants in the field onto the road.  They meet each others eyes, and before the son could even utter his apology and ask for forgiveness, his father had already given it.

Now, the younger son has asked for a forgiveness which was already given, and the father decides to celebrate his son’s homecoming, rather than to rub his son’s face in his sin, saying, “I told you so.”  At this time, the elder son noticies a change in the atmosphere as he looks toward the house from the field, where he was still working.  The elder son asks what is happening, but reacts very poorly to the answer.

I am reminded of how our Father forgave us before we even thought of our actions long enough to realize our stupidity, and how He doesn’t take each thing we do and rub it in our face.  I am so thankful for a gracious and merciful God, who forgives each sin, cleansing it from our life with the blood of His son, the lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.  Our God is an awesome God!  Should you find yourself in the place of either of the man’s sons, whether you’re coming home, or observing someone else’s homecoming, be sure your heart is right.  Keep your arms wide open to receive a repentant heart and support those who are trying to make a difference in their lives.

You’ll find true happiness here.