Sunday, September 20, 2020
Limping and Running Like a Prodigal
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive grace and mercy to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him: he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20b To say that I love the story of the Prodigal (Lost) Son is a vast understatement. I don’t even know how to express my deep appreciation and connection to that parable. I do know this, I have been the older brother, I have been the father (and in the sense of standing in an empty doorway, still am) but today I find myself in the uncomfortable but to me, enviable, position of the son. For the past few days I have myself wandering in a desert of my own making. The lousy choices, though encouraged by others, have been my own. The phrase “lousy choices” isn’t even accurate. I’m finding myself revisiting the same sin pattern over and over. This morning I woke up feeling, “sick of it, done with it and over it” as my granddaughter Harper used to say. Today I fell at our Father’s feet like a dirty, hungry, miserable prodigal. For me this isn’t about wasting money or living a wild life. For me it’s been more of an ignoring God’s will and commandments to serve my own agenda. Now, serving my own agenda might not sound that bad but before you excuse my behavior let me avail you of the consequences in just a few words. I have felt apart from God. NO! I am blessed to say that I’m not starving in a physical sense. We have a comfy home, plenty of food and clothes and my husband and I are very happy together. We can hope it was an empty soul but we know it was an empty belly that sent the prodigal back to his father’s house. That is not the case here. My belly is full. My soul felt broken. This morning I went to our Father feeling dirty, ashamed and disgusted. I’ve wasted time and opportunities. I’m not giving specifics of my sin because I know how many people would minimize them with an “oh everybody does that”. Well, I don’t answer for everybody, only for me and my heart needed very much to confess and receive forgiveness. How did God respond? Oh sit down sweet sisters and brothers in Christ because this is beautiful! I cried out, feeling guilty and ashamed and God answered with this, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 To me that is the exact equivalent of a cloak, a ring and a fatted calf. I cried out to be cleaned, forgiven and accepted and God, in His tender mercy, pulled me into His embrace. If you feel at all lost or removed from God, take a look at your life. If there’s something there that causes you to cringe or try to escape, take it immediately to God’s throne. Go there with confidence, knowing that forgiveness is waiting. My obstacle is lifted now. I can sit with God and there’s nothing in between us. You can do the same! Run (or limp) like a prodigal and fall into the only embrace that truly matters.