In Chapter 2 (“The Two Lost Sons”) of The Prodigal God, author Timothy Keller states that the Parable of The Two Lost Sons is really a drama in two acts. Act 1 features the younger brother, Act 2 the elder brother. The author notes that the first act begins with a brief, but shocking request. The younger son asks his father for his share of the estate. That request, Pastor Keller adds, would have amazed the original listeners.
Since the younger son asked for his inheritance now rather than after his father’s death, essentially he was saying that he wanted his father’s things, not his father. In reality, he was wishing his father dead. A traditional Middle Eastern father would have been expected to drive his son out of the family with physical blows in response to such an ill-advised request. Because the father’s wealth was tied up in his land, losing part of your land was to lose part of yourself as well as your standing in the community. Yet the father tore his life apart for the love of his son.
The younger son demanded things on his timetable, not his father’s. When we insist on immediate relief from and resolution of the pain, suffering, and anxiety birthed by our ministry downsizing or vocation loss, aren’t we questioning and thus delaying God’s sovereignty and providence? Yet Jesus takes on our suffering and maintains His love for us!
Today’s question: What are the benefits of patiently waiting during our desert, transformational time? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Disgrace- an equal opportunity offender”