It has been a long time since I shared here- and as I write I wonder if I even remember how to write. fromhisheart.ca has been a gift for me to open up and share my ongoing journey of navigating the Father’s heart, and the ongoing story of the Father navigating mine. At times this experience leaves me feeling revealed and intensely vulnerable, especially when the journey ventures into difficult areas. Since my last post there have been many days as I put my head to the pillow, I feel bruised, battered, and tired by life and the struggle within. Sometimes God has a way of using life to reveal what is hurting, wounded, and broken within, forcing these pieces to rise to the surface that more of us may experience our good Father and faithful companion Jesus.
In this time I have become more aware of my restless striving to change circumstances in life and within. I find it interesting how participating with what God is doing can quickly and quietly change into striving, apart from the Father’s abiding presence. Upon this reflection my heart began to break with compassion for the countless others striving in ministry, in church, and for those who have had to take a break.As I poured out my own heart to God, the song “come home” by Bread and Wine began playing in the back ground- and a picture of the Prodigal Father embracing me his Prodigal Son rose in my mind.
The story of the Prodigal Son written in Luke 15 is often talked about in the context of the rebellious son, who then returns to his Father after a life of sin, to be showered by his Father with unconditional love, kindness, and forgiveness. This has often been my own experience as well. However, in this moment and other moments like it, I realize that my drifting as the Prodigal Son has been subtler.
Perhaps this is true for many people, that our wandering is less rebellious and subtler, in a best attempt to be faithful. Somewhere along the way as we participate with God in following his voice as his beloved son and daughter, we begin to rely more on our own efforts and energy. We again eat from the Tree of Knowledge, rather than the Tree of Life. At times we begin to believe that it is up to us to fulfill God’s promises, to operate in the gifts and passions that God has placed deep within, and to produce our own “Christian” success. We can attempt to prove to ourselves and to others that “I am alright”, and that God is actually up to something. Quickly we begin to sag under the heavy burden of continually showing visible evidence of our “Christian” progress and growth.
Rather than resting in our Father’s promise that he will finish the transformation and healing that he began (Philippians 1:6); sometimes we strive to live by rules and principles found either in the Bible or within our own Christian culture. Even in the freedom of the Holy Spirit and his grace, we can feel a pressure to manufacture our own love, joy, peace, patience etc. When I drift into this place of striving I begin to drift away from my Father’s loving embrace. I hide the places within that feel painful, embarrassing, and shameful; and I hide them from my Father who desires to love and embrace these places as well.
Our Prodigal Father, who is also the Good Shepherd pursuing his precious lost sheep in the parable just before; is calling softly; shouting loudly; and inviting gently…
~ “My beloved- come home, come home to me. My son, my daughter bring those places to me, those places within you that need my love. Bring home those hidden places within you, the mistakes, the failures, those thoughts, those feelings, and the shame; bring them home to me. My beloved I know you fight to accept these places are a part of you; I know the places that you either do not like and even wish were not there, and I know how embarrassed, isolated, and lonely you have felt. My son, my daughter- you are my beloved prodigal. Come home and let me embrace you in tenderness and gentleness. I love you. ~