I am fascinated with the Parable of the Prodigal (Lost) Son (Luke 15:11-32). This summer I wrote a 5 Day Devotional for the Prodigal Daughter, a free gift for you (click here to receive it). Aaaannnd, drumroll please, I finally did it: I wrote my first book, dagnabbit! Keep your eyes open for Prodigal Confessions: 10 Principles the Lead Us Back to the Father (release date coming soon). I am so excited!! I hope to add a study guide for the eBook soon, as well.
In celebration of all this wordiness, I want to feature some of my favorite bloggers, giving us their take on Prodigal Living, a life drenched in God’s lavish Grace. My friend Melissa Blair answered my questions on the topic this way:
- In the story of the Prodigal Son (or the Lost Son) of Luke 15, which of the characters (the younger son, the older son, or the Father do you identify with the most)? What strikes a chord with you about this particular person?
I absolutely identify with the Lost Son in this story most and most of the time. I don’t know how many times I have read this, but this morning I read with fresh eyes and see everything highlighted as it pertains to my every single day walk:
*he set off for a distant country and squandered his wealth on wild living
*after he spent everything, he began to be in need
*so he got up and went to his father
*his father ran to him and kissed him
Distracted by this big, shiny world‘¦I am constantly battling packing my bag for distant lands and resting my head on my Father’s feet. And God is always looking for me while I’m still a long way off…filled with compassion and throws His arms around me! I’ll never get over that part.
- The definition of Prodigal is lavish and extravagant‘¦extravagance can be taken to the extreme of being wasteful, but can also be reflected by the extravagant Grace of the Father. Where are you extravagant in your life?
Narrowing down is difficult 🙂 But right now this is it for me: There is nothing bigger than God’s grace. Grace is undeserved favor‘¦it’s the thing that actually saved our lives. If I’m drowning in that, if it is ever-present and just running out of my ears in abundance‘¦how can I not scoop it up and pass it out by the handfuls on every street corner I come across? How can I not heap it on every human I touch? How can I not seek out opportunities to get rid of the extra?
The sheer abundance of this is really incomprehensible‘¦and I am most extravagant in my life in keeping all I can for myself. It’s not always intentional‘¦just my natural bent.
- What advice would you give to your own Prodigal Son or Daughter?
I recently read this quote in Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning as he quoted another. I read it once. And again slowly. And then again. It is balm for the travel-weary and grace-hungry‘¦which we all are. The hardest part of coming back home is often the way we fear we will be received. That fear prevents many a homecoming. I would say this to my own Prodigal child (because Paul Tillich has better words than me, I would use his):
‘˜Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness‘¦.Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: “You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything, do not perform anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted.” If that happens to us, we experience grace.’ ~ Paul Tillich in The Shaking of the Foundations.
- In Matthew 22, Jesus calls us to love God first and then love others before ourselves. Which is easier for you, loving God or others?
Loving God is easiest for me. God has been crazy-faithful and I’ve never experienced a second without His wild grace. Even in my pitiful moments, I know this well. People, on the other hand, have every opportunity available to go off and step in it. As beautiful as our mess can be‘¦there is still mess to deal with. It has to do with that whole not being perfect thing. But‘¦isn’t it cool that when we love God most, we love people best? [Yes! You are so right Melissa!]
Melissa Blair is a wife, mama, and writer from Texas. She begs God every day for eyes to see spiritual truths in life’s ordinary moments and the opportunity to write those down. She believes there is wild freedom and growth in just getting real with each other and often writes about the messy side of life at melissablair.net