Lenten Reader | Day 25


“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

- Luke 15:25-32
Have you ever made the statement or heard someone say, “I would give everything I have if…?” If my family member didn’t have cancer, if this virus would go away, if I just had a sip of water. How ever you may have filled in the blank, I want to focus on the words “everything I have.”

What do we really have in this life? Yes, God has blessed us with plenty of food, shelter, a little money in the bank, family, and friends. These are all tangibles, but our life is so much more. It revolves around a relationship with our heavenly father. We have his grace and immeasurable love. I’m a child of the King – a truth that has been made real in some of my darkest hours. Times when I had nothing tangible to give, only desperate pleas for healing and restoration.

One of these times was in August of 2018. My son and family had decided to vacation on the west coast. I, like the father in our story, was not very happy about their destination. It was too far away. But preparations were made, and before we knew it, they were on a plane headed west.

The next day I was having lunch with a friend when I received a frantic call from my daughter-in-law. Our son had been in an accident, and they were transporting him by helicopter to a hospital in Portland. The next thing I heard was my son’s voice, and I will never forget his words. “Mom, it’s not good. They say I might lose my leg. Please just pray!” There it was again…I had nothing in this world to offer my son except Jesus. He is everything I have! I fell to my knees in prayer.

Three weeks and seven surgeries later our son came home. Recovery was a long and difficult road, but today he is working, serving the Lord, and coaching his son’s basketball team! I will never forget the celebration on his homecoming day, but more than that I will always be reminded that I was able to give our son “EVERYTHING I HAD.”

-Joyce Barbee