This week’s topic: The Gifts Of The Spirit
We know the whole story—a son wastes his father’s best, and then in a state of desperation, comes home, only to find forgiveness instead of a flogging. We stand in judgment of him, like the other sibling who was so appalled that Dad wouldn’t at least make him grovel a little. What our sanctimonious selves don’t realize, however, is that there are times when, instead of the good, obedient brother’s reflection, the person who’s actually staring back at us in the mirror has slop around his mouth and corn husks matted in his muddy hair. We’re just like that prodigal in so many ways, aren’t we?
I sometimes tell folks, “I’m convinced that the good Lord has a whole lot more sense than I have;” and though it’s my humorous way of saying His ways are much higher than mine, it’s still just the stark truth. I’ve come to know this, and occasionally have to re-learn it, from years of making foolish choices on my own before finally repenting and handing the reins back to an all-knowing, all-wise God.
When did the prodigal son actually get in trouble? Was it in the gambling house? The bar? The brothel? The pig pen? No, it began when he went to his father and said, “I want it all. Right now. No strings attached, no one telling me what I should or shouldn’t do with it.” The inheritance was to be his eventually anyway. However, his burning desire to have his own way—without any authoritative counsel—almost guaranteed this boy wouldn’t like the outcome of his imprudent request. As the old saying goes, “Be careful what you ask for…”
God has a plan already in place for us; it’s His very best, and His perfect will for our lives is carved out of pure love and infinite goodness. My pastor, who teaches frequently on eternity, reminds us that God’s order is sequential, not cyclical. It is nothing like man’s “spinning wheel…what goes up must come down” philosophy. Our lives are a tiny speck on God’s eternal timeline; yet we so value our speck and make everything all about us, about our one short life. Something in the base, carnal human nature—that “thing” in us present since the fall of Adam—feels cheated when we can’t be instantly gratified, when we can’t call the shots. The backslider in heart takes the blessings of God with him and sets out to do it all his own way. Worst possible choice with the worst possible outcome
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article courtesy of TheStreamingFaith.com