I have decided to start a series on Sundays. As we trudge through this amazing and challenging life together, I thought I would share my thoughts, my devotions, and my prayers with you… If you would like to contribute to this series, I would absolutely love your devotion to share! Sundays are a time many of us focus our attention on the Lord, our Heavenly Father. It’s rather quiet in the blogosphere on Sundays, and I simply love that sacred honor that resonates for so many. These posts will always be focused on Him. May you join me in reflection, prayers, and promises…
As we take a quiet moment to breath and be still, and know that He is Lord. Lets share, support and challenge each other together in blog fellowship, shall we?
I Am Not The Prodigal Son… I Am The Other One.
We host a small group on Saturday nights, where we are studying Jesus’ parables. Recently discussion centered on the infamous Prodigal Son Parable. For those who do not know the story, it is about a son running away with his father’s fortune and recklessly squandering it all. This selfish indignant son comes crawling back begging and starving as his father runs to him with open arms and treats his welcome home celebration as though his son were a king. The story is truly a powerful one and the message is loud and clear that God’s arms stretch out to the lost, as He celebrates every soul who returns to Him. Our discussion was filled with amazing insights and valuable lessons learned from this story, as we talked about several distinct details that prove God’s love and mercy pours deep and wide on every child of God.
This post isn’t about that message. It’s about the other one…
The other son who stayed home and worked like a slave for his father and was obedient and did every thing right. This other son who watched his father cherish his pathetically careless and dishonorable brother’s return and even treat him like royalty. This ‘other son’ who never received any accolades or magnificent feast for all his efforts and his commitment to what was right.
New International Version (NIV)
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
After all the talk about the Lost Son, my friend Carlos pierced my heart with this truth:
“We also have to be careful that we are not the other son. Angry at what others’ have received while we work so hard to serve and give, and perhaps not get much in return.”
Oh. My. Gosh. That. Is. Me.
I have been slowly seeping toxic waste in my heart of this very truth. I give and give and give… but what am I getting in return? I have been twisting bitter blood deep in my soul for every good deed dismissed and every exhausted day serving without a thank you. I have watched others shine in their success as I slave away with growing resentment that I am not acknowledged. I am not appreciated.
Where’s my fattened calf???
Where’s my party?
I want the celebration!!!
Why aren’t all the people recognizing ME??
I work harder than those who are treated like royalty!
What about………… ME!!!!!????
And as I purged these poisonous pleas out to God in the following days, willed with anger and exhaustion, I hear His profound and passionate praise stir my heart…
My child, it is I who rejoices.