Due to unexpected circumstances I found myself awake most of the night and into the morning. Worry was trying to consume me. Questions, fears, doubt…the devil was certainly taking my lack of sleep and my troubled heart to use to his advantage! I prayed, I waited, I prayed some more. During my time of praying and worrying I had one story come to mind over and over.
The story of the prodigal son. First off, let’s define “prodigal.” It’s the overabundance of expenditures. Living lavishly or even wastefully. In the bible it is used in two senses…first, the son who squanders away his wealth and puts himself into a position where he has to return home because he has no where else to go. It is also used in the sense of lavishly giving praise, in that his father lavishly gave thanks to God for returning his son to him.
As I was sitting here in the wee hours of the morning, my mind wandering and the same feelings of abandonment and hurt whirling around inside me, I momentarily slipped into my life long habit of “playing the victim” in order to gain something I desperately crave. Then the prodigal son came to mind. For a moment I was thinking, “ok….I’m definitely tired because I don’t know why I’m thinking of this right now!” (I was thinking like the other son who did what was right. See, victim!) Then it hit me like a dead fish to the face. I need to treat this situation like the prodigal son returning home safely.
I didn’t kill the fatted calf or break out the confetti…but I did my best to give thanks to God for something being safely returned to me. It wasn’t easy. I wanted to know why I was disrespected for the thousandth time. Why I fell so far to the bottom of the priority totem. Why some things were found worth more than others. It’s been something I have tried so hard to get across for so many years. These feelings of hurt and worthlessness that were caused by the actions of others.
God was speaking to me though. Have my pleas and complaints and desperate attempts to make someone feel a certain way helped ANY in the past? The answer is a very loud resounding NO! Why is that? Because it’s not what I am supposed to be doing. I am supposed to be prodigious in my praise and gratitude for what I am given, rather than seeing myself as a victim because others don’t see or think or act the way I wish they did.
Which, in turn, led me to think later on in the day of the verse that states I need to focus on the plank in my eye rather than pointing out the splinter in someone else’s. So, I’m attempting to do just that. I’m recognizing the flaws and weaknesses I’ve had my whole life. I’m finding resources to help me sort through and get to the bottom of them. I’m allowing God to take the controls of everything that I can not control or help and to give him the elbow room to move in and fill my holes with His wonderful grace and love.
The prodigal son came home empty handed and nothing to show for his life. The other son was livid that his brother should be celebrated for living a life of sin, when he (the “good egg”) worked so hard to do right, despite having never been thrown a party or receiving praise. His father’s reasoning behind the celebration of this prodigal? “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.” (Luke 15:32)
I thanked God for the result I got when I thought all hope was lost. Having what I got was far better than the alternative! Find worth in what you have and lay the longings of your heart at the feet of Christ.Tags: anger, found, lost, Luke, meaningful, Prayer, priorities, Prodigal, value, waiting, wasteful, worry, worth
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