Join the Party - Encouragement Café - February 2, 2017

Join the Party
by Dawn Mast
Thursday, February 2, 2017

The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, “Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!” Luke 15:28-30 (NIV)

Apparently, they had forgotten to invite me. I'm almost 6 feet tall and like to wear bright red shirts, but maybe they didn't see me. Or hear me even though I'm loud. I hoped they'd call and extend an invitation, but the call never came. Then I realized they weren't going to invite me out. The other moms I used to hang around had just dropped out on me and it hurt.

I was angry and very, very resentful.

Then my thoughts became just downright yucky, "Well, if they ever do call me, I won't even go!" (That was so childish!) and, "I'll just find some new friends and make them sorry!" (I'm seriously embarrassed to even admit I thought this, but here it is!)

But, really what I felt was hurt and loneliness and I just took everything so personally. Maybe I didn't need to make it about me at all.

Maybe the older brother in the Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32, NIV) felt the same way. He made the situation about him when really, he should have been so very, very happy that his wayward brother was home and that his father was no longer worried about him.

But, no. He was selfish and self-seeking (don't we all have some experience in that area?!) and he was hurt and quite angry that there wasn't some serious focus on him.

Often, the situations in life aren't directly about us, but we think they are. I don't know why my friends left me out of their fun evening, but I do know that Jesus loves me way more than my friends do. It's hard to see things with a holy perspective when we are bitter, but if we take our gaze off ourselves and look at what's really going on, we will see that God has a much greater plan.

The father of the prodigal son kept his eyes on his wayward boy waiting for him to come back home. My hope is that when life and relationships get tough, I will look to the Son to bring about restoration, hope and healing.

When the hurt and confusion get overwhelming it can cloud our rational thinking. It can help to remember that God is fair and just even when life isn't.

Heavenly Father, I long to be noticed and treated well, but I sometimes feel hurt, neglected or just invisible. But, Lord, I know You see me and care about the deepest parts of my heart. You long to know me and You love me even with my flaws and weaknesses. Thank You for loving me, Lord. Please help me extend Your love to others so they may walk in the full knowledge and love that You give. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

© 2017 by Dawn Mast.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Thursday, 02 February 2017.