Having It Our Way

In the story Jesus told about the prodigal son, from Luke
15, the father let the son go. The father did not run after him, begging him to
stay. The father didn’t send envoys to the tavern to bring him home. There’s no
indication of an entreating letter. But when the boy returned, the father saw
him a long way off. He had been often at the window gazing down the lane, waiting
to embrace his lost child. 

What did the son’s freedom cost the father? How many tears
did that father shed at the window? How heavy was his heart as he waited for
the uncertain return of his boy? What projects remained unfinished because the
father spent his time watching? 

If my child made such poor choices, I’d want to run after
her, control her, ground her forever. Had she become a drug addict, leaving a
child for me to raise, I’d have been deeply resentful. My love is shallow.
God’s is deep. God’s commitment to us includes letting us make self-destructive
choices. He understands that the built-in consequences of sin may be the only
way for us to come to our senses. 

Our sins may be more subtle than the wayward son’s. Our
fears that keep us in turmoil. Our unbelief that stops us from acting on his
still, small voice. Our pride that says we can handle things ourselves. But we
always pay a price for having it our way. What amazes me, though, is God’s
willingness to let us go and pay the price with us. 

Father, may we recognize again your deep, deep love.  


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