This year I’ve been learning about the character of God and more about who God is. This has helped me grow in faith, understanding and in my relationship with God. And when you know someone better you are more likely to recognise and hear them when they are talking to you. Right?!
Originally when I was told “No” by God last year to do what I had set my heart on doing, I was devastated; however this year I have seen how much God is not only using this year to grow me but also had this year as part of the journey to where I wanted to be.
Today I read about The Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32). The story is mainly seen as a picture of people coming to faith, coming home to God. Today I saw it as a picture of me during my faith, during my struggles and battles. With the ultimate question, will I go to God for help in desperate times?
The son basically disrespects his Father by asking him for his inheritance. In a traditional Middle Eastern culture this would have been seen as major disrespect, it’s an outrageous request the Father would surely refuse. But not in this story. The Father gives him the inheritance he would get, he blesses him even though he doesnt deserve it.
After receiving his part of the inheritance we see the Son went off and “squandered his wealth in wild living”. YOLO right.
Then later we see he reaches a point where he “begins to be in need” (v14).
“He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.” (v16)
We see he is empty “He longed to fill his stomach”, probably both physically and in his heart. Then we see he is also very alone “no one gave him anything”. He must have been very lonely and felt very isolated as we can do when we feel no one is there to help. But from this very dark moment we see change, a light. “He came to his sense” (v17) he realised he needed help and needed to go home. Its like us in our deepest, darkest moments that no one sees, we can get so deep than no one or nothing can help us and thats when we realise only God can, God can help us.
“So he got up and went to his father” (v20)
We sometimes need to take that step of faith God’s been waiting for us to take all along. And that my friends, is a great moment. A leap of faith.
The son went home not knowing how his Father would react, it’s like us after taking that step of faith. I remember I had no idea if God would really help me get out of the deep dark pit I was in when I came back to God asking for help. But God was there, waiting patiently to pour out his love and forgiveness on me.
“his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (v20)
He was filled with compassion for him, he ran to him, he kissed him, he blessed him with a party, just like God does to us when we trust him. Its beautiful, that picture. The thing that struck me was the Father having compassion on the Son. He knew what he was feeling, how disappointed he was with the way it turned out, the shame, the frustration of it all, the hurt, the rejection and he welcomed him home, he loved him. He had compassion on him.
God understands how we feel when we don’t get what we have set our hearts on or what we’ve planned. He understands the disappointment, the embarrassment, the frustration, the hurt, the anger. He gets it.
I use to think God wouldn’t take care of me, I couldn’t wholeheartly let go of the control I thought I had on my life, I couldn’t hand it over to God. Because of that I couldn’t wholeheartedly trust him and the thought of it was troubling, it seemed impossible and even if I did I couldn’t imagine how that would be good. A close friend of mine kept encouraging me to trust God during my difficult time last year, but I had no idea how to trust God. I kept asking people “How do I trust God?!” I was so anxious, I knew I needed to trust God and I knew what that looked like but had no idea how to do that. I was naturally holding onto everything it seemed so unnatural to hand it all over to God.
Looking back now I’ve learnt that learning about God and his character, and growing in a relationship with him, through that I now know how to trust God. And as soon as I trusted in God, things started to happen. I have learnt now there’s nothing you could do or say to make this happen, it’s called faith and it grows when you pursue your maker, God.