I had been feeling sorry for myself. This fact remained submerged in my subconscious until it was time to surface. Uncertainty about work and ministry had been simmering, so I knelt in prayer and even though my question was, “What do you want me to do here?” my heart was whining, “Where’s my party?” God always answers questions in a surprising way. His answer to me?
“You are the prodigal son’s big brother.”
“Um, thanks God, I think…”
In the parable (Luke 15:11-31) when the lost younger son returns from living a life of debauchery, there is a big party, and the big brother hears the festivity. So he moans to his dad, “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.”
For much of my life, I was the lost son – which is bad – but now I was the older brother – which is worse. Yes, I had been obedient on the outside, but I began to feel like I deserved something in return for it, like I was gaining credit on my heaven account. This sensation makes every day feel like you are the one responsible for making the earth move, straining and heaving all you can upon that impossibly heavy orbit. My material supplies were drying up – so I was calling in the spiritual capital that I imagined I had accumulated. And the Lord delivered.
“My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”
I already have all I need, and the Father disciplines tenderly. It was shown to me that if I really want to have my party, I have to give more and just LET HIM. These heavenly resources allow me to live abundantly. I must learn to love like the Father.
Smile and laugh.
Get on the floor and play trains.
Extend yourself and your heart more.