THURSDAY, AUGUST 29
“His father came out and begged him,”
Luke 15:28 (NLT2)
COMING HOME: THE FATHER BEGGED THE PRIDEFUL SON
Can you think of anyone in your life that you wish you could force to do something that you know in the end would be better for them than the current choice they are making? That can be frustrating because you know you can’t make that choice for them. They must make it for themselves. There is a similar dynamic at play in the story of the “prodigal sons.” The father wants them home but they both must make the choice for themselves. The father in Luke 15 has been disrespected by the words and actions of both of his sons, yet he still begs this prideful son to come in the house and enjoy all that he has for him.
An illustration from Davon Huss: In his best-selling book called Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer relates the hazards that plagued some climbers as they attempted to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Andy Harris, one of the expedition leaders stayed at the peak too long, and on his descent, he was in dire need of oxygen. Harris radioed the base camp and told them about his predicament.
He mentioned that he had come across a cache of oxygen canisters left by the other climbers, but they were all empty. The climbers who already passed the canisters on their own descent knew they were not empty but full. They pleaded with him on the radio to make use of them, but it was to no avail. Harris was starved for oxygen, but he continued to argue that the canisters were empty.
The problem was that the lack of what he needed had so disoriented his mind that though he was surrounded by something that would give him life, he continued to complain of its absence. The lack of oxygen had ravaged his capacity to recognize what was right in front of him.
In the story of the prodigal son everything the older son needed was right in front of him, but he didn’t recognize it. Years ago, I heard a preacher say, “If I could come out there and shove Jesus down your throat I would. And you would thank me after. But I can’t do that, and God won’t do that.” God wants and provides what’s best for us. However, we must make the choice to receive it and come into His house. God won’t force it. How do you think God has dealt with you when you’ve been wayward? What truth does this story in Luke 15 teach you about how God feels about you when you’re outside the house? Take time and thank God for the truth of His love.