These words come from the commonly told parable of the prodigal son. In these verses, the father turns his attention to his older son in the midst of a party he’s thrown for his younger son. As you probably know, this party is thrown in celebration for the return of the son who took his half of the inheritance and spent it on wild and reckless living in a foreign land. The older son, who never left his father, stands in the field alone, unable to return home out of jealousy.
Often when we read this passage we are focused on the forgiveness of the father to the son returning from a wayward life. But in this season, I am struck by the father’s words to the older son, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.” Put another way, I could read it as, “what could you have to be jealous of? You are the son who never lost access to me. Is who I am not enough for you?”
In this season, I, too, have found it hard to come in from the field and return home. The pain of loss, confusion of a conflicting political climate, and the pressures of an evolving world have made it feel hard to celebrate. I find it hard to remember the true gain, which is found in the presence of the Father.
And yet, even in the midst of my pain and confusion, the Father still meets me out in the field and reminds me that I’ve been with Him all along. There is nothing that is His, that He is withholding from me. He offers to reorient my thinking and walk me back home.
God’s invitation is to let go of the things that are holding our minds and thoughts captive and to reclaim our true identity as a son or a daughter of the Father. He is inviting us to strip ourselves of the world; its pain, confusion, false fulfillment, and fear. He is offering His promises to us. I invite you to pray with me and open yourself to God to see what He might be doing in your life.
Take a moment to present yourself to God, wherever you are. Maybe during this time you feel like you’ve come home after a long journey and you’re finding rest in the simplicity of a stripped life. Or, you could be stuck out in the field as an observer of the celebration taking place inside, unable to return home. Ask God where you are in this season of life. Is your heart open or closed?
Take a moment to remember that whether you feel close or far off, the Father will always seek you out. Ask God to reveal to you the ways in which he is pursuing you, even in ways of which you may not be aware.
Take a moment to consider that wherever you may be, you are a child of the Father. Reclaim your identity in Him. Ask God where you have been trying to claim your identity and ask Him to reorient your heart.
Take a moment to praise God that He is always the same. He will always meet us wherever we are and accept us back home.
NextGen 4th-5th Grade Associate