But here's what hit me last night. I've always been sort of perturbed by the father's response to the older child's anger, and I've never been entirely sure why. It's always struck me as a bit of a flip response. So, I'm sitting on my son's bed last night, worrying about all sorts of things that are falling apart inside me right now, just sort of half-listening to the story, and I hear my husband read:
"All these years, I've been working for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends."
This grabs my attention and I identify, hearing my own resentment, loss and frustration echoed in the sons words. And suddenly, clear as day, in my head I hear the heart of the father's response ~ probably for the first time ever ~ directed at my own anger and feelings of this "unfairness". As the father in the story replies, "everything I have is yours," I hear my Father say to me, "Sweetheart, you never asked me..."
It seems so stupid and elementary, but it makes me wonder how much I missed out on simply because I failed to ask. How many things did I find unfair in life that I didn't have to. Now, I'm not saying that this is some magic spell, but there is truth in the concept of asking and receiving. How many times do I live in want and desperation, depriving myself of what God has for me, simply because I fail to ask?
"Sweetheart, you never asked me..."