New Perspective

14 Aug

Please take a few minutes and watch the above video.  It is a very touching compilation of clips of soldiers returning to their families after a tour of duty in the military. If you can watch this and not be touched by the emotion of the people you must have assumed room temperature and I am sorry for you. However, my intention is not to necessarily emphasize the military. If you watch this and start to debate the rightness or wrongness of any particular war, please don’t.  Hang with me here… My purpose in having you watch this is to illustrate, perhaps in the most powerful way possible the story of the Prodigal son as we read in Luke chapter 15.

The Parable of the Lost Son

Luke 15:11 “Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. 22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

As I was watching this video, with tears welling up in my eyes, the Lord said to me, “Do you understand, just as these little boys and girls were FILLED with intense immediate love and desire, I feel the same joy, excitement and deep love that they did,  FOR YOU!”  Just last weekend Chris Brown spoke at Bayside about the prodigal son. A couple weeks before that I began a post for xxxchurch on the prodigal son. Now that I have my own son, the story had so much more intensity to me as I thought of how I would feel being the father in Luke 15. But as I watched the videos of our incredible military personnel returning home it brought a new level of intensity and depth of understanding as I actually watched people filled with these emotions participating in these reunions.  Picture yourself as the soldier (the prodigal son, not that they are the repentant misguided son) the loved one returning and the child as our Heavenly Father and the emotion and intense love the child feels. The longing for contact, the desire to do nothing else but see and touch and smell and talk and laugh and love and  enjoy each other.

Now I have to be honest with you, I have a hard time picturing God feeling that way about me. I know He does, the Word of God tells me so. It is written I believe it. But I have not seen, smelled, touched, hugged, heard clearly His voice audibly, etc. God the Father. Yet. I will some day. I know right now my own crud makes it difficult to understand and make tangible that depth of God’s love.  But as I read Revelation where I see in the future being in God’s actual presence where there is no pain, tears, suffering, sin… I know someday that what I understand with my mind now, I will experience with my sense of touch, smell, hearing. Someday those incredible videos of military reunions will absolutely pale in comparison to when I see Jesus face to face and the separation ends.

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One Response to “New Perspective”

  1. Don Stonehill, father August 14, 2010 at 11:14 AM #

    To my dear Son Mike,
    This all brought both tears to my eyes for the entire bit, but it also brought happiness and pride in having you as our Son. No words can express the total happiness and satisfaction that you bring to Mom and I with your life and our total enjoyment seeing you as a father yourself. As our Heavenly Father has stated..”well done, good and faithful servant”.

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