Now, Laban may have been a lousy father-in-law to Jacob, but he was a bang-up grandpa. There wasn’t a snowball’s chance in you know where, that Jacob was taking his grandkids away without Laban having a chance to shower them with kisses one more time! I understand Laban a bit because over the last week we have been hosting our son, daughter-in-law and five grandchildren in our not so huge house. Though it was pretty cramped quarters, we hated to see them leave yesterday. Because they live so far away, we make the most of every moment we have together. The kids loved going with us to the beach, the park and the community pool, but I treasure most our morning walks.
Whether it is making cookies together or lining up for the Good Humor man, each of us who are grandparents appreciate different kinds of little moments. They are precious, not because of what we are doing, but because of who we are doing them with. Jesus taught us that God is our Almighty Father in Heaven, but in some ways, God is also like a grandfather, who treasures spending small, not so mighty moments with us. I learned a little of this one recent morning walking by a pond with our grandchildren. We had stopped while I explained the difference between an Egret and a Heron who were standing on the bank. Then as I cautioned them about not getting too close to the edge, I noticed a tiny head popping up above the water about ten feet from shore. “Look a turtle!” I said excitedly. I had seen other turtles sunning themselves near there on the grass before, but they had always slipped quickly into the water on my approach. But that day to my amazement, Mr. (or Mrs.) Turtle made a beeline for our granddaughter. It eagerly climbed up out of the pond, then waddled right up to her!
Whether this was someone’s lost pet turtle or just the result of people feeding it breadcrumbs I do not know. What I suspect, is that God knew we would be walking by that spot at that exact hour and orchestrated a special event. His heart delights watching us as we pause to admire the tiniest detail of creation. He isn’t just the God of the gigantic universe; He is also the God who enjoys surprising us with small demonstrations of His goodness. Just like Laban God hunts us down, not to destroy us, but to embrace us and send us on with His blessing. Why not slow down long enough this morning to allow Him to amaze you with what He has in store for today?
After my Dad passed away one of the most difficult and yet most rewarding things I had to do was going through his things. Though he was now gone it was as if I came to know my father better than I ever could on earth. Old postcards mixed with photos of family and friends I had never met. But among all the books and papers the most startling find was a stack of letters. The handwriting on the envelopes seemed familiar and as I looked closer it suddenly struck me that they were mine. Every thank you note, every Christmas and Fathers Day card were there. One by one I read through words I had forgotten about but Dad had kept them as a special treasure.
I believe it will be the same way in heaven. There God has prepared a place for each of us and lying open on a table will be our letters to God. Each and every word of every prayer God keeps as His special treasure. He has never forgotten a single time we praised or prayed. Then we will begin to uncover the astonishing love of our heavenly Father and begin to know Him so much better than we ever could on earth!
Prodigal- spending resources wastefully or recklessly.
This Father’s Day I can really identify with the father in the prodigal son story. It is not that I have been always loving with our own two sons but rather I would have loved it if they could have just gotten along for more than 10 minutes!
The younger son in the story Jesus tells is selfish, manipulative and foolish. It doesn’t seem to bother him at all how his father feels and he doesn’t even take the time to say goodbye to his brother.
But somewhere in the distant city where he falls below even the bottom of the barrel he wakes up. Suddenly he gets just how much he has failed and he returns home a broken young man.
On the other side of the county the older and more obedient brother is toiling away in his father’s fields. As the afternoon comes to a close he hears the sound of music and dancing from some sort of outdoor celebration. As he gets closer one of the men who works with him on the farm brings him news of his brother’s return and the restoration his father had given him.
Wow! Talk about mad! If it had been possible there would have been steam coming out of his nostrils! He could not believe that his Dad had been so foolish to give the younger brother the money in the first place. Now with this wretched failure crawling home he definitely has no idea why his Dad would celebrate. “Celebrate!” he probably muttered. “I’d like to wring his neck!”
What the good son along with most of the rest of us can’t understand is the prodigal wastefulness of our father. Our Heavenly Father’s heart is just so off the wall that we can scarcely imagine what he is thinking of.
But the father in the story had more in mind than just giving his robe his ring and his shoes to his son. Most of all in the middle of the feasting and joy the prodigal father longed that through his over-the-top forgiveness he would see the healing and restoration of everyone in his family.
Whether you are a father or not today remember that all of us have a heavenly Father who like the prodigal father longs to recklessly give us his heart and see a full restoration between us as well as all the rest of His family!