Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's Beautiful

by Eleventy Seven

I wish that You would tell me how

You know me well and want to be together

Fallen short and faded out

But You keep making gardens in this desert
Despite the grace that I dismissed

Forgiveness was the catalyst

To penetrate my heart with what is true

It's beautiful You can turn mistakes to miracles

The way that You still love me after all

It's beautiful

Redeem the years I've thrown away

I'm ready to make good on what I've wasted

I'm asking You to shape my heart

I want to be Your work of art

'Cause when You change me

And make me more like You

It's beautiful

You can turn mistakes to miracles

The way that You still love me after all

It's beautiful

I heard this song on the radio yesterday and I've kept thinking about it. I've been reading Prodigal God by Tim Kellar recently, and our High School Sunday School class has also been on this book the past few weeks. I realized that the two concepts kind of go together, so we'll see if I can turn my thoughts into coherent sentences! :)

While looking at the story of the prodigal son in Sunday School (this parable can be found in Luke 15), we saw that there are really 2 sons that make up this story. The younger son, who returns to his father after taking his inheritance early and wasting it, and the elder son, who faithfully works for his father year after year despite his younger brother's absence. If you read the story you'll find that each of the 2 sons struggle with different sins. The younger son outwardly disobeys. He selfishly takes the money early, leaving his brother and father to care for the farm, and spends all of it unwisely. He wanted things his way, in his time. At the end of the story we see him come back, humbly asking his father for forgiveness. Nearly everyother time I've read this story I haven't even thought about the older brother very much. This man faithfully works for his father, year after year. He is terribly angry with his dad when the younger brother was not only accepted back but welcomed back with great joy and celebration. The older brother was bitter towards his father for taking him back, and for expecting the remaining inheritance to again be split to accomodate the younger son. The older brother works for the ultimate reward of receiving his inheritance, and obeys solely to please his father, not out of love and devotion. After reading the story from this perspective, I realized that I am an "older brother!"

I've started looking at my heart and realize just how many times I obey because I want to be seen as a "good person," not because I desire to please the Lord. I realize how much I value significance in life. I want people to like me, admire me, and be impressed by me. I often turn have a "good works" perspective and when things don't work out in life I often wonder, 'What did I do to make this happen?' There's a little piece of me that won't let go control, won't accept the fact that I never have and never will do anything to make myself worthy of salvation. I am forgive and freed from all of these things BECAUSE Christ came and died for me! BECAUSE HE died for my sins, the Lord can do a beautiful work in my life and turn these mistakes to miracles. He can fulfill His purpose in me despite the fact that i am a prideful, self-righteous "older brother."

So after thinking of all these things, I heard the above song on the radio and I thought it summed up all my thoughts quite nicely. I am asking the Lord to shape my heart, because I do want to be His work of art. I want Him to delight in me, and I want to delight in obeying Him because I love Him with everything that's in me, not because I want to gain brownie points in someone's eyes. I know this will be a lifetime lesson and challenge, not something that I think about one day and achieve the next!! But that's the beauty of it, right? He knows that I won't get it after one day, and He's willing to extend me the grace and mercy as I work on it. I'm a piece of art, and I praise Him for the work He continues to do each and everyday.

1 comment:

Katrina said...

Hi My Mollly Girl,

I totally relate to your blog entry. I haven't read Keller's book on the prodigal son and his self righteous older brother but I did listen to Keller's tape series that the book was based. I too found his insights into the older brother convicting. So glad you were able to study this passage in a new light and that God used it to speak to your heart.

Much love,
Your Momma XOXO