Jeremy slammed the bucket in the corner of the shed and stomped out. He could hear the chatter of the cooks, excited with the party plans. Somebody was even singing.
Then his father appeared in the doorway. “What’s up?” he said quietly.
“He doesn’t deserve all this,” Jeremy said sullenly. “Look at him. He’s a mess. You’re telling him that it’s all OK, that what he’s done is no big deal.”
“He’s home,” his father said.
“But you’re rewarding his behavior!” Jeremy said angrily. “I’ve been here, working beside you. I’m the responsible one. I had to pick up his work when he left. And he gets rewarded?”
“All those months when he was gone,” Father said, “he was alone. People milked him dry. Some sold him pleasure just to take his money. No one loved him. When he needed kind words, I wasn’t there. When he needed wisdom, he was without help. I couldn’t rub his shoulders and wash his wounds.”
Jeremy glared at him. “You’d rather be with him than me.”
“No,” his father said. “We walk together in the cool of the morning, planning the day. We talk over decisions. Remember how we laughed over that idea for the backyard? While others picked away at your brother’s soul, you were with me.”
Do we treasure presence?
Isaiah promises that God will “bring them to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.” (Is 56:7)
Maybe you were expecting wealth or good health or a party? But God promises joy. Come to his presence and the joy will shower down. We’ll delight in presence.
The older brother of Luke 15 had presence and he wanted a big bash instead. Are we content with God’s presence or are we still holding out for something else?