Let’s look at two stories to have a better understanding how gracious is our God. The parable of the lost son (Luke 15) , the father in the story can be seen as our God. As we see in the story, the younger son asks for his inheritance from his father and not long after spends it all and puts himself in poverty. When he comes to his senses and decides to go home to work for his father as a servent, his father not only says to him no harsh words but also welcomes him with joy. In contrast, the elder son works hard and asks nothing from his father for his work. When he see his younger brother get all the attention he thinks his brother does not deserve it, but his father assures him that “all I have is yours,” in other words, his faithfulness and steadfastness will be rewarded, but have joy that the younger son is returned. Think of ourselves as the younger son, we all survive by God’s Grace. A lot of times we even disdain His Grace. But if we come to our senses and recognize Him, He will be so happy and not only give us a hug, put on the best robe and a ring for us, and throw a big party to celebrate as if we were dead and are alive again or we were lost and are found.
The father represents our God. He is so merciful and forgiving and has no judgement for whatever we did in the past. He allows us to do things as we wish (in the story, the father gives the younger son his inheritance), allows us to learn the lessons from our own choices (suffering at first until we recongnize our own mistake and be willing come to Him). Imagine ourselves as that father, how would you feel when you have a son like that. Most of us might teach the child a lesson first when he comes back and show him the consequences of his bad decisions and behavior. If we are able to act like the father in the story, we would be able to understand the love of God for us.
The second story is about the servent of a well owner. The well owner provides water to the village he is living in for free. Everybody comes for water. The owner and his son will help to pump the water out for them. One day the man decides to travel with his son and he turns the job over his servent. In the beginning, the villagers come to take water in order. After a while, people start to cut the line or been rude to each other. The servent starts making his own rules and not allow people to take water if they don’t obey the rules. The people allowed to have the water become fewer and fewer because of all the rules set by the sevent. One day there is a man who cut the line for the water, the servent grabs him out and won’t allow him to have water anymore. The man takes off the cover over his head, the servent recognizes he is the son of the well owner. The well owner says to the servent: this water is for everybody no matter if they are good or bad. The village people cheer for the man saying: don’t let the servent have water anymore. But the well owner replies saying: water is for everyone and I won’t hold his fault either. In the story, the well owner is just like our God. He is forgiving and He gives Grace to everyone no matter if they are good or bad. He also wants us love our neighbors and enemies.
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. （Mattew 5:44~45)
Sometimes we see people do the wrong thing or not work as hard as we do and good things still happened on them. In these cases we tend to wish God would take away their good fortune and give us more of the grace we deserve. But when we think that way we are acting against God’s will “to love our neighbors”. In the first story, the elder son was anoyed by what his father did to his brother and walked away with anger. He should know his father already gave him everything including his love. These stories help us understand God better. The way He gives His love a lot of the time is not the way we would act. If we can see this, then we can act more like Him and be loving to others too.