Thursday, November 15, 2012
DON"T YOU DARE
The other day I experienced an opportunity where I desperately wanted to defend my child.
My feelings and my thoughts, and the words I was rehearsing over and over again in my head, were not, to say the least, gracious.
And I felt overwhelmed, out of control, and extremely guilty.
And then God spoke this story into me.
There was a father who had two sons.
He loved them both. All the way down to the bottom of his soul.
There wasn't a day, where he didn't show them and tell them.
But one day the younger son broke his heart when he demanded the father give him his inheritance.
By wanting his inheritance before his father died, the young son was saying to the father, "I wish you were dead."
Actually, it was worse. He was saying to his father, "To me, you are dead."
The father, grieved to the bone, watched his young son walk away.
The older son stayed.
He worked hard. He tried to be enough for his father.
But the love of one son, couldn't take away the pain of losing the other.
The love the father had for each son was complete. It was perfect. And because his sons were different, they each held their own special place in his heart.
Not a day went by when the father didn't tell the older son how proud he was of him. Not a day went by when he did not praise him for his hard work. He loved that boy.
But also a day didn't go by, when the father didn't cry for his younger son.
Every morning as the sun was coming up, he looked down the road. Every morning he said to himself, " Perhaps this will be the day. Yes. Today could be the day when my son comes home."
There were nights the father thought he heard his son call his name. He would step out into the dark, only to realize that it was only a memory that he had heard.
A neighbor knew of the young son's wanderings and of his father's grief.
He would come to visit the father on occassion and would speak words of comfort to him.
But one day, the neighbor's words turned from words of comfort for the father to words of condemnation for the son.
The Father immediately rose to his feet and looked into the face of the neighbor.
"Don't. You. Dare. Don't you dare speak of my son that way. You don't know him. You don't know his heart. He. Is. Mine."
I'm the child who walked away and way too often, I'm still the child who walks away and wants to do life my way.
Yet over and over again, I am the child who the Father defends.
He doesn't defend my actions or my choices. He doesn't defend my sin.
He defends me because I am, by faith, in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Because of the perfect life Jesus lived and the sacrifice He made for me on the cross, my Father sees me as He sees His Son.
The father defends me because he knows, and loves, the cost He paid for me.
When I hear the Father say to the enemy that condemns me, "Don't you dare, don't you dare talk about my child like that. She is mine," I find grace to give to the one whom I believe is speaking condemning words about my own child.
My identity, and my child's, is not found in the words spoken by others, be they good or bad. Identity is not found in the opinions or acceptance of others. Our identity is in the One whom the Father gave for us.
When I trust Him, I don't have to rush to the defense of myself or my child, although it is one of my most powerful instincts.
Because the Father has already done it for us.