Dawn of a New Day
He woke up, rolled over and realized that his bed was comfortable. In fact, he realized he was actually in a bed and not on the cold, hard ground. And he didn’t smell bad either. On top of that, he wasn’t hungry.
Where was he?
Oh, that’s right… he was back home… in his old room… on his old bed. And it was the morning after the party.
Enter all the emotions. A smile spreads across his face as he rejoices in the reality of his father’s forgiveness and the celebration which ensued. But the smile fades suddenly as he recalls his brother’s frustration over the celebration and the reason behind both the celebration and the frustration.
It was all his fault. He had told his dad that he had had enough and wanted everything he had coming to him in the way of an inheritance so that he could strike out on his own. His dad sadly obliged, gave him his half of the estate and watched him practically skip down the road as he left.
That was months ago. Or was it years? It felt like a lifetime ago. He wished it had never happened. As a tear slipped out of the corner of his eye and trickled its path over his cheek and down his chin, the look on his face faded further from blankness to cringing.
He recalled the wild parties… the money wasted… the time he could never get back. He remembered running out of money so quickly and wondering how it had happened. No one he had given to would give back to him. No one was like his father.
But he had to prove that he could make. He could not go back in shame. He got a job. A job no kid like him would ever take in their right mind. But he was hungry. Hungry enough to eat the slop he was feeding the pigs on the farm where he was working.
He felt like a slave instead of a son. He could not survive this loneliness, this lack. But what could he do?
Wait… he felt like a slave. His father’s slaves were treated better than this. He could go be a slave for his father. At least he would be near his family again. At least he could eat well again. At least there would be some kindness shown to him.
He had no bags to pack. He simply told his employer he was leaving and hit the road. The trip seemed like it took forever.
More Than Imagined
And then there was that moment… when through fearful eyes, he looked up the road toward the home where he grew up and saw someone standing at the fence. No, wait… the man was running… running toward him… weeping and whooping… practically skipping down that same road. The voice was familiar, but how could it be?
Suddenly he was wrapped in safe arms, arms that held him close and tight. Arms that drained away the sadness and the weariness. The arms of his father.
He tried to sob out his request to be a slave, but his father ignored the request and simply hollered for the servants to come and make him know that he was the son he was before his indiscretion. “Bathe him, clothe him, adorn him. And get everything ready for a party like we have never thrown before! He’s back!!!”
That was last night. Oh, the joy of the party. How the servants and neighbors celebrated raucously with he and his dad.
But that was last night. What now? What would today hold? And tomorrow?
The Rest of the Story
I wondered this morning… How would that young man live now? Jesus told the story in Luke 15 to show what the Heavenly Father’s love is like for lost people. But He had proven His point and left the rest of the story untold… He didn’t need to tell it because it was understood…
- Do you think that son would take for granted ever again any blessing bestowed upon him by his father?
- Do you think there was ever a day that went by that he wasn’t grateful for his father’s grace and mercy?
- Do you think he ever forgot that nothing he had or used was not his but belonged to his father?
- Do you think that he ever failed to realize that he must live humbly with his brother who had done no wrong?
- Do you think he ever regretted what he did and decided that he would never do anything ever again to hurt his father or his family?
I Am That Son
And what of us? Aren’t I that lost son returning to my Father? Aren’t you? Hasn’t He shown us grace and mercy? Should we ever take for granted the blessings we have been given?
Today is the morning after the party for each of us. Every day is. The question for us is… How will we live in light of the party our Father has thrown for us?
I don’t know about you, but I intend to live to honor Him and His kindness toward me.