Monday, February 22, 2010

Jewel # 54 (Feb 22, 2010)

To my dear Grandchildren,

The Little Prodigal Son

There is a very well-known story in the Bible about a man who had two sons.  One of the sons left home, did as he pleased, and then came back home when everything went wrong.  The father welcomed his returning son and forgave him.  It is know as the story of "The Prodigal Son," and you can read it in Luke 15:11-32.  But now I am going to tell you about another father with two sons.  This father's two sons were little boys.  Timmy was five years old and Stevie was three years old.

One day Timmy told his father that he was going to run away.  His reason was that he was having trouble with Stevie, his little brother.  Timmy and his father found a suitcase, and his father helped him pack his belongings, putting in some books because he might want to look at them.  He left his room, and his father said he would walk up the street a little way with him.

But the suitcase was heavy, and Timmy asked his father to carry it for him.  His father said, "No," because he would be going back home, and Timmy should get all the practice he could now of carrying it alone.

As they were passing a fast-food place, his father bought Timmy a hamburger.  Since he couldn't eat it all, his father said to put the rest of the hamburger in the suitcase, as that would be all the food he had with him.

Back on the road again, instead of continuing on his journey, Timmy started back towards home, still hauling the heavy suitcase.  They turned into the house, and his father went inside, but Timmy went around to the back. 

Do you think his father forgot all about Timmy now?  No.  Both his father and his mother were watching from the window.  They saw him open the suitcase, take out the books and look at them.  They saw him when he got up and walked around.  Then he came into the house and said he had decided to give his little brother another chance.  So the suitcase was unpacked, and the runaway was home!

These two fathers in the stories give us a picture of our heavenly Father and His love and care for us.  Sometimes He allows us to do as we please and even make wrong choices, but it is always with the desire that we will return to Him and His love and offer of forgiveness.

Although Timmy was never far from his father, yet somewhere on his runaway journey he changed his mind about his brother and decided to go home.  When God sees that we are truly sorry for our sins and willing to change our minds and ways, He too is always ready to forgive, take us back and wash us clean.

Aren't you glad we have such a gracious God?  He is ready to pardon and quick to forgive when there is true repentance.  "Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness" (Nehemiah 9:17).  Then He receives us as His children and welcomes us home.

"Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered." (Romans 4:7).

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