Senior Pastor Marty Grubbs continued in the Breathing Underwater series with the call for a decision. The most important decision you can make in your life comes when you answer this question, “Are you ready to change and accept the help of God for the power to do it?” Using the favorite and familiar story in the gospel of Luke, often referred to as “The Prodigal Son,” in which a son asked for his inheritance, then walked away from his father and family to pursue a lifestyle marked by one bad decision after another, until he hit bottom and couldn’t dig himself out. Marty dispelled the myth of an angry God waiting to punish anyone who has rebelled, chosen their own way over his—anyone who has been searching for something to satisfy, but instead finding only temporary fixes for an insatiable appetite. For the person who is at the bottom or somewhere on the way down, who wants to be well but can’t get there on his or her own, there is a loving Father patiently watching and waiting to welcome you home. God is ready, willing, and able, to forgive, to restore, to redeem, to be your constant help in time of need.
In this story there is another person of interest—the older, rule-following brother, who never left his father’s side and did everything “right.” When the younger brother was welcomed home with open arms, the older brother was angry. He believed his younger sibling deserved to be punished, even rejected. He judged him as not righteous enough to be welcomed back into the family. His pride and self-righteousness got in the way of recognizing, and remembering, his own need for this same love, forgiveness, and mercy. He could have been part of the welcome-home party. Better still, he could have been watching and waiting for his brother’s return —to throw his arms around him and say, “We’ve been waiting for you. Just wait until you see what Father has waiting for you.”