One of the great stories in the word concerns a father, a rebellious younger son and a prideful older son found in Luke 15.
Among the three major players in the drama, I can see myself in all three.
Sometimes I feel like the younger son, in rebellion against God. At other times I feel like the older son, full of pride and self-righteousness.
I'm thankful that God understands that.
When I find myself in the position of the younger son, I'm thankful for the grace and mercy of God. I'm thankful that God loves me, period. Unconditionally.
When I am like the older son, wondering why those around me receive God's grace even though they haven't served God faithfully, "like I have", I am thankful for his patience with me.
With the younger son, sometimes I realize that I have to lose everything to come into touch with the ground of who I am. I once again realize the depth of God's love for me. The touch of His blessing in my life. I choose to go on in my walk with God knowing that my relationship with Him is not based on what I've done but who He is.
With the older son, sometimes I realize that no matter what I do for the father, in the end what counts is love, acceptance, forgiveness. I come again to understand that I must pay attention to MY relationship with God and not fall into the trap of comparing myself with others.
The fact is, we all are constantly returning to the Father. But the closer we come to home the clearer it becomes that there is a call beyond the call to return. It is the call to celebrate, and in turn become the welcoming father.
To reach out as the father reaches out. To forgive, to console, to heal, and to offer a festive meal.
God calls us ultimately to be healers like God himself.
Be a healer today, reach out and encourage those around you.