One week from today we will be moving my daughter home from college for the summer. In so many ways it feels like we just moved her there (specifically I still have nightmares from move-in day, where it felt like 5,000 girls were moving everything they owned into half a room the size of a too-small broom closet all at the same time in 100 degree Mississippi heat).
To say we’re excited about her coming home for the summer would be an understatement. We – me & her daddy, her little brother, and her grandparents who live on the street behind us – have missed her this year. My daughter brings with her a certain amount of “energy” with her wherever she goes, and we’ve all missed that over the last 9 months.
All-in-all she’s had a very successful freshman year. Did she make decisions I was extremely proud of? Absolutely! Did she make choices I wish she hadn’t? Well of course. That’s part of having children. And besides, this ain’t a perfect world, and I don’t get to say what’s perfect anyway.
And thinking about her coming home reminded me of the parable of the lost son, found in the book of Mark, chapter 15. Now this kid was a real piece of work – he was the little brother and he wanted his part of his father’s estate NOW (sound familiar in today’s world?) because he thought he was all that and knew more than his daddy (ummm- HUMMMM). So his daddy obliged and gave him his half.
He went to the city and had a big time – until the money ran out. Then he was in real trouble – up a creek without a paddle, so to speak. It wasn’t until he was eating the same slop that was fed to the pigs that he decided enough was enough. Pride or no pride, he was going home to ask his father’s forgiveness. “I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.” (Luke 15:18)
Now his daddy could have made life REAL difficult for him by ignoring him or even having him killed. But he didn’t. “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.” (Luke 15:20)
That, my friends is true grace and forgiveness.
Is there someone you need to forgive? Someone who took advantage of you, thought they knew better than you – someone who in your mind doesn’t deserve your forgiveness?
Just remember we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness, but He freely gives it to us anyway through His Son, Jesus. So instead of harboring bitterness or holding on to past wrongs let Jesus help you forgive others, just as you are forgiven.
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