When I was a child I’d sometimes buy or get toys or games that had lots of pieces. Upon getting home I would immediately rip open the box and start putting the toy or game together. And many was the time I ran into trouble. When I got hopeless lost, I swallowed my pride and ask my dad to help. More often than not I would hear him say, “When all else fails, Son, follow the directions.”
We have been unpacking some of the lessons from the amazing parable of the prodigal son. I agree with Pastor Ed, it may be the favorite of all Jesus’ parables. When we run into trouble, or even before if we are wise, we’d do well to follow Jesus’ advice. The truth at the center of this parable motivates all that Jesus and His disciples believe and do. It is that our Father knows best. And He loves us.
How much less the troubles of this world, including my own personal anxieties and demons, bother me when I accept that the Father loves me! How much better my life goes when I believe that His directions are good for me! Ed’s challenge for us this week to accept our Father’s unconditional love is perhaps the biggest hurdle to true “all in” discipleship. To trust that He has compassion for me, that He forgives me, that He wants what is best for me, that He will always be there for me, seems just too hard to believe. Jesus wants us to know through this parable, and even more through the life He lived, that He was “all in” because we can trust that the Father knows best. And He loves us.
Discipleship thought: Everything changes when I accept the unconditional and extravagant love of the Father. Father knows best—and He loves you!
I encourage you to watch this video of a new song by Andrew Peterson. He describes his own music as leaning toward somber or emotional, but I think this song captures something many of us need to hear. “And you can’t believe your Father knows best. …” But He does!