During the past six years, I lived the small-town life, which allowed me to speak or talk to strangers and my neighbors every day. Because of a large shade tree and a house facing east with a country-living sized porch and a screen door, I was able to enjoy the fresh air and birds tweeting their songs. One of the daily highlights was to hear Roger, our postman, talking and laughing to someone on the phone as he delivered our mail. I often wondered who is the person on the other end that could make this man have this level of happiness.
Then I noticed that we had a substitute postman for two weeks. Something was not right. Roger could be on vacation, but it was during the school year, and he had two daughters. My first concern was that he may have contracted the Coronavirus (my nursing thoughts). One day, I noticed that Roger returned, but the talking and laughter had ceased. As the mail truck neared my home, I walked to the end of the driveway. When I saw Roger, his face was etched with sadness. I relayed that all of us really missed his laughter. At that point, he told me that his mother, the love of his life, had passed away.
I expressed condolences, and asked him, “If you could share something about your mother that you would want the world to know about your mom, what would it be?” Roger responded, “that she loved everyone.” But then he expressed that although he was sad about her death, the inheritance that he received caused his siblings to have bitter feelings against him and their parents. Roger’s mother had remarried, and he was the only child from her second marriage. His father, who passed away many years ago, stated explicitly in his will that if Roger’s mother passed away that he was to receive 100% of his estate. But life is not that simple.
Roger had two sisters from his mother’s first marriage [who he loved] demanding that he sell the house and divide the estate equally among the three of them. Although he offered to give them the entire contents of the house, they refused to accept his offer and were leaving daily voicemails stating, “you were always the favorite child.” And now the twist, “Miss Sonya, what would you do in this situation? I know that you are a Christian, and you will tell me the right thing to do.” I mentally prayed, “Holy Spirit, help me.” To make a long story short, I asked him to express his desires regarding the situation and make a final decision based on his morals and values. The dilemma involved emotional turmoil because he loved his sisters, yet, he wanted to honor his parents’ wishes for him to receive the house, and to keep as part of their legacy.
We are familiar with the story of the prodigal son: To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.'” So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. Luke 15:11-12
The youngest son had plans that were in opposition of his father’s plans. He was restless. Why should he live as his father desired? No, he would demand his inheritance! After all, he was young and couldn’t see himself living this boring lifestyle, not one more day. Because the father had the greatest love for his son, he would not force his principles, values, or morals on him, so He willingly granted his request.
What do you think of the youngest son? Selfish, ungrateful, or he didn’t really love his father? Maybe. But we are the youngest son. God tells us, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11. Because God is a fair and just Father, He gives us free will, as he watches us choose the prodigal’s path.
We desperately seek after our desires, regardless of the consequences. Our dilemma is that we cannot wait for God to fulfill His perfect plans, we demand our inheritance now, and we are willing to disobey God to get what we desire.
The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. Galatians 5:17
Self-reveal: Yes, I have family and friends who love me, and I love myself. But are my thoughts precious about myself when I step outside of the will of God? No, I would readily admit that I frequently play the game of chance. Yes, I become a player by making plans based on my desires and creating strategies to get what I want.
In Psalm 139, verse 17, David tells us: How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!
I invite you to change your perception of God, the Father who willingly gave Jesus, His only Son, to suffer and die for us, loves us unconditionally. And His plans never have consequences!
Bible Reading: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:1-3
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray for the desire to make this covenant with you, “Not our will, but God, your will be done in our lives.” In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson 2021