Gerry & Julie Gutierrez' Update
First Thought Series-GA
This is what God is like! He is rich and He has two kinds of children. One is impetuous as a white water river. The other is as calm as a sleepy brook. But “If God was an earthly father, He would have prayed like this: “Dear Lord keep me from the calm water, because from the white waters I will take care myself.”
*Notice that he grants the petition of the younger son without arguments. Not that he agrees with son and trusts in the wisdom of his decisions, but he trusts in his lifetime instruction. He cannot keep him from flying away from the nest and test his own wings. Time for teaching is over. Time to keep him by force and against his will is also over.
A wise father knows enough about his son that he may control his body but his soul and heart would be away from him and a seed of bitterness would be growing (should he try to close the garage door the prodigal may bust the door or even call 911 for child abuse or even make scandal with neighbors).
This father may wave good-bye to his son with one hand, but with the other he will be wiping his tears as a strange knot unknown till that moment will appear in his throat while a prayer to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will visit his quivering lips and in faith he will start counting the day of his return.
The son looks at his rearview mirror for the last time the sad figure of his father, as his vision on the road gets blurry for just a brief moment.
He has so much to look forward so the tears dry as fast as they came out while the father’s tears increase and become a prayer. Daily, faithful and expectant prayers. Knowing that “wet prayers” for a beloved never go unanswered before God.
Let us make the story short by focusing on this father of in the story.
This father believes in prayer and he is like the little girl who went to a prayer meeting for rain and she took her umbrella. At God’s prompting this father is in the same spot where his son left. The son is returning home. He has learned that though he is equipped to go alone in life, the favor of God did not rest on his shoulder. The blurred eye father is able to recognize at the distance the answer to his prayers.
The first thing the son sees is the last thing he saw in his rearview mirror.
In fear and joy he is rehearsing his previously prepared speech that the father is not at all interested to hear.
Too many words are like leaves on a tree, they hide the fruit.
What goes untold in the story but revealed in each sentence is what we are looking in front of us. A man who believes and trusts in the sovereignty of God and the power of expectant faithful prayer.
The prodigal son’s need of a hug was greater than his need of food.
Now let us now behold the breaking of every protocol of love.
Not a word to the son at all. Even though the communion was interrupted, the relationship had not changed for a second. The father’s first words are revealing of his heart.
“We are going to have a party tonight”. “All night long” call Lionel Richie to sing.
For a man of few words this father is very talkative. Behold the why of rejoicing? Celebration and rejoicing is the only proper act to answered prayers.
The one thing we know for sure from scripture is that few things affect the mood of heaven and repentance is one! Repentance is equivalent to resurrection.
Our contribution to the Feast is nothing but our sins and repentant heart. This moves the heart of God to compassion. He restores what the locus has eaten. This is the way in which God handles an impetuous white water like son.
But look at the calm water son who in his insecurities and self-righteousness reveals the inner turmoil of his selfish heart. First of all anger and disagreement with the will of the Father. Three different men and three different worldviews. The calm water was only on the outside. He does not care about his brother and he is a joy killer. He acts as better than his father in judgment. But the will of the Father prevails at the end.
The father ignores the challenge to his authority.
Notice that dispensers of love are always in disadvantage before the consumers of love and grace. We all know the laws of love and abuse of it. The abuser knows to be loved and tests love to extremes. The abuser has been abused and wants to make sure if the present love is real and will endure. This is a test of fire in order to invest of what is left of him on her. Both sons know at the end that they are loved.
Luke 15: 11-32
11 Then Jesus said, ‘There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.” So he divided his property between them. 13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16 He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself he said, “How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.’” 20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” 22 But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” And they began to celebrate.
25 ‘Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27 He replied, “Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.” 28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29 But he answered his father, “Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!” 31 Then the father said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.”’