The Prodigal Brother Part II

I had some experiences this week that made really uneasy and uncomfortable. Usually these experiences included me realizing I wasn’t as great of a person as I thought. Really these experiences should happen more often, but whenever they do, I feel like my identity is compromised and I can’t truly do what I was called to do. It sucks.

Continuing on the concept of why I don’t feel like I’m allowed in God’s house…the second happens to be because I feel so. much. shame.

I’ve spent a lot of my life being told that I’m “too much” “Too loud” “Too crazy” “Too independent” and my personal favorite “Too smart.” After a while of being told this over and over, you start to think that it would just be better to give up and forget trying to be a good person or follow Christ.

So I stand outside the house of God, wondering if I can really go inside and join the party. What if I’m too loud? What if I’m too much for everyone? and WHAT IF…I’m too much for God. The crazy part about all this is that I don’t hear those things from God. I hear them from other Christians.¬†

Every time I begin to believe that I can trust God’s goodness and I can enter into His presence, some Christian seems to be right there to tell me I’m not good enough to join in the celebration.

Here is the problem with that belief: I’m NEVER too much for God. Never have been. Never will be.

The shame that I feel is not simply something I’ve picked up through the years, though I think that is true for a lot of us. I think this shame is a part of me that I’ve learned to live with. I don’t really think I’m worth to enter the house of God. I don’t think I am allowed to think I’m worth it till I calm down.

I secretly believe I’m not a Christian till I settle down. or something like that.

But then…my Father comes out of the house. He walks toward where I stand in my pride. At first I am so frustrated that I don’t get treated like His other son. “Why aren’t you as good to me?” And just as I begin to think that maybe…He loves me every bit as much…I turn to Him and accuse Him of the insincerity of His guests. “How can you let them treat me like I’m not even your daughter?” And He says, “Are you really going to believe what they say about you? Do you not trust my love for you? Do you think you need them to approve you before I do? Oh my daughter, you are so wrong. I will always love you, and my goodness will always be enough.”

Oh my friends, I still struggle to take His hand and walk into His house. But I am learning, that no matter what anyone says about me, or what happens to those around me, I can trust my Father’s love and goodness. It has always been constant and it always will be.

I know that there are still days when I will stand outside the house with a bad attitude. But I also know that many of you have been waiting for God to come and invite you into His celebration of His kingdom. And let me tell you, you can trust His goodness. You can trust His acceptance. You can trust His love. Go ahead and take His hand.

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