May 3rd, 2012 - Who is my Father?

posted May 9, 2012, 12:46 PM by Amanda Wunderlich   [ updated May 9, 2012, 1:50 PM ]

May 3rd, 2012 - "Who is my Father?"
 

I believe we are approaching a period of time where the people of our nation are going to start asking history altering questions about their identity.  We have to be able to give them the correct answers. 
__________

I was participating in a group prayer session with my fellow ministry school students on May 3rd. National Day of Prayer.  Sometimes I can sense when God is going to show me something that is going to change my viewpoint on things.  When our intercession leader began leading us in prayer for the nation I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to press in and listen because He had something important to show me. 

In the spirit, I realized I was looking down at the nation as if from outer space or satellite imagery.  There were no cities or towns.  I knew I was back in time and was seeing the nation in its original state.  There was a flash of light on the Eastern coastline.  I knew that I was seeing the moment of conception.  The nation had been dedicated to God (1607).  His DNA had entered the land never to depart.

Then it was like I was watching the nation grow up, still seeing the same scene of the actual land from high above the world but also seeing almost a sheer overlay of a baby girl growing up, learning how to walk, learning to talk.  I saw that as the nation grew, it lost sight of Who had fathered it into existence.  The nation started reaching out and taking hold of different forces, thinking they were responsible for its birth.  I saw it reach for Economy and say, "Okay, you are my father."  And then Democracy: "Oh, you are my father."  And on and on it went. 

I was so aware that each of these things were only foster fathers.  They would never be able to speak to that area of the nation's heart that longs for its true Father, the One responsible for its DNA.

Finally, when the faint image of this child had grown up into adulthood, I suddenly saw it come to the realization that the things it was holding onto were not its real father.  It was like a connection was made that the nation did not share DNA with the things it was calling its father.  She let them go and just stood there as those things faded out of sight.  And then I heard her ask with sincerity, "Who is my Father?" 

I knew the nation had reached the critical point in its life where it was no longer satisfied to have foster fathers.  The nation wanted to know Who the true source of its DNA was.  Who was responsible for bringing it into being?

I have heard it said that even though an adopted child may have the most wonderful adoptive parents and grow up in a happy home, there is still a drive in them at some point in their lives to locate their birth parents.  The inner drive to know where they have originated from, be it good or bad, cannot be silenced even in the most pleasant of growing up circumstances.  I have friends that even though their adoptive parents were the best a child could ever ask for, still pursued locating their biological parents.  There is a need there that cannot be silenced. 

This is the exact place I saw the nation reach.

Then in the midst of the question of the nation still humming in my mind, I heard the Holy Spirit start speaking.  What He said was sobering. 

In the moment our nation awakens to the desire to know who their real Father is, it would be the greatest of tragedies for the Church to present them with yet another foster father...called Religion.  The reason why?  Because the nation has already had foster fathers.  It knows the difference between the replacement and the Original.  The result will be an inoculation for the true things of God.

It is extremely important that we, the Church, come into right relationship with our Father outside of the box called Religion.  We must come to know Him with our full hearts, allowing His Spirit to reveal Him to us in a way more real than we have ever allowed Him to do so before.

I felt the Holy Spirit challenge me to examine my life and identify how much of it is lived through religious tradition and how much out of true Father/Daughter relationship with God.  He also asked me to think about the way I talk about my faith with others.  Do I talk out of a living, breathing relationship with the Father from Whose DNA I have come from?  Or do I talk about Him in a sense that regulates our relationship down to things I do and observe?

We must KNOW HIM!  Not a theology, not a good idea,  not a program or passed-down tradition.  How can we show others to their Father if we do not truly know Him ourselves?

This is a critical time for us as believers.  The shift in our nation is coming.  Will we have the answers?  May we be humble enough to recognize our own deficiencies and pursue after right relationship with the Source of our own DNA. 

May we be like the Apostle Paul and make this our prayer:

Philippians 3:7-10

Amplified Bible (AMP)

But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [[a]one combined] loss for Christ’s sake.

Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),

And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.

10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [[b]which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death





  


March 13th, 2012 - Books that Sing

posted May 8, 2012, 1:16 PM by Amanda Wunderlich   [ updated Dec 4, 2012, 4:40 PM ]

March 13th, 2012 - Books that Sing

I was looking for an answer for how circumstances in my life were going to turn out. Instead, God gave me a perspective shift. 
__________

It started as an ordinary night of class at Fire School.  Our instructors had us come into the prayer room for a time of worship before progressing into some teaching.

I have to admit, I was not in the most affective mood for praise and worship.  I felt dry and overwhelmed.  I had sensed God's clear direction for me to attend ministry school.  But as the school year had progressed, I found myself facing more and more difficult challenges.  My family had struggled financially through the winter and I was laid off from my secretarial job in February.  With payments approaching for the rest of the school year, I didn't know how I was going to make things work.  Everywhere I looked I seemed to be faced with a need for finances and the back accounts were nearly empty.  Still, I kept hearing God tell me to stay exactly where I was, to not look for another job, and that I was right where He wanted me to be.

But God, I wanted to protest, what about this?  Or, what about that?  Don't you know it takes money to live in this world?

I sat down in a chair as everyone prepared to worship and sighed.  I cannot say I actually prayed for an answer.  I more just groaned in my spirit.  I needed God to come meet me because I wasn't sure what I was going to do.

Our worship leader started playing and everyone began singing.  I joined in, pushing myself to participate even though I did not feel very engaged.  Then, suddenly, everything shifted.

I often see pictures or sense God's presence during times of worship but I have never actually gone somewhere in the spirit.  I would hear people talk about going to heaven and experiencing things and wondered what it would feel like.  I never dreamed I was headed for such an experience that night.

Suddenly, with my eyes closed, I found myself in an enormous room with hundreds of pillars draped with sheer fabrics like partial curtains separating the room into sections.  I was dressed in a white dress with short sleeves and a slightly flared skirt that was calf length. 

This was more real than any picture I have seen in the past.  I can only describe it by saying I was there.  It was not just in my mind.  And yet, I was still aware of the room where the rest of the students were worshiping.  I could hear the music and them singing, could feel my body sitting in that chair to some extent but it was like being disconnected from one reality and entirely focused on a new one.

Back in the room of pillars, I suddenly I felt this burning desire to dance.  I started to dance through the room, moving from section to section.  The more I danced, the more the dark depressive feeling ebbed away and I felt lighter and lighter.  I passed pink curtains and purple ones.  Light blue and cream.  I continued dancing through the rooms of veils. 

Then suddenly it was like I just stepped through into another realm and I was in the throne room of God.  It was massive, so large that it was almost as if it had no sides at all and was filled with hundreds of thousands of people.  From the front where the throne actually was emanated a tremendously white pure Light.  There was a center isle and I made my way toward the throne with steps almost like the bridal march.  Everything, including all the people on either side, was so bright it appeared white.

When I got to the front, I saw there was a large open space before the steps leading up to the throne where the people kind of held back before the glory.  The Light obscured any view of Him but I knew His eyes were on me.  I began to dance before Him.  The dance was full of passion and expression of love for Him.  I ended on my knees in front of the stairs. 

Then out of the white light stepped the Father, robed in a white garment with a sash around His waist.  His face was like Jesus' but more aged.  He came down the steps and knelt on the floor in front of me.  He placed His hands on either side of my face (yes, I could actually feel this!) and brought my head down to rest against His chest.  I remember He was so much bigger than me it was like I was a seven year old child again.  I began to weep as I was overwhelmed with incredible peace. 

After a time of just being held and loved by my Father and with my head still nestled against His chest, I asked Him about the situations going on in my life.  I asked Him how they were going to turn out.  I knew He had a plan and that He would always watch over me and provide, but how was He going to do it?

In answer, He said softly, "I want to show you something."  Then He stood and scooped me up in His arms.  He carried me to the right of the throne where I saw there was a door opening into another room.  He carried me inside the room and set me on my feet.  I looked around and realized I was in an enormous library.  It was elegant wood book cases that were carved and reached high to the ceiling.  Huge glass windows let in golden light.  The isles of books went on and on.  And yet, it felt immeasurably cozy. 

In the center of the room was a huge table, like a dining table.  I thought the table was covered with a 3D model of a city but then I realized it was in real time, like looking down over the world.  The scene had a transparent dome over the top almost like an atmosphere.

"Stay here for a moment," Father God said.  "I will be back."  Then He left the room.

I walked around in the library a little, overwhelmed by what I was experiencing.  I had heard others talk about times they had been caught up to heaven and seen the library of God where every person's life story is written down.  I could not believe that I was here seeing it for myself! 

I walked up to the shelves but the book titles were obscure to me, almost as if they were in another language.  I could not tell whose stories I was looking at.

Then slowly I realized I was hearing beautiful music.  There were voices singing in all different languages and styles that somehow all harmonized into a song so beautiful it made tears come to my eyes.  The sounds came from all around me.  I turned a circle, trying to identify where the notes were coming from.  Now and then I heard phrases I understood.  They were all praises of how great God is and how His love and mercy endure forever.  As I looked around the library I suddenly realized the music was coming from the books.  It was so beautiful I eventually ended up on my knees in the middle of the room praising God with them.

Then Father God returned.  He asked me, "Do you understand what you are seeing?"

I had to be honest.  "Father, I know what I am hearing and seeing but I am not sure I fully understand."

He told me that the books were the lives of His children and that each book reveals something unique about Him that had not yet been seen or heard before being expressed in their lives.  And it is these revelations that were singing out from the books.  Their lives were singing their own unique expression of Who and how great God is.  The song He had written for them to sing. He was their Author.

Then I looked and He handed me a long narrow wood box.  When I opened it, I saw it contained His pen.  It was over a foot long, much too large for me to use.  A dip pen with a wood handle and gold tip.

I heard Him say that just as He is the Author of the many stories I was hearing singing all around me, He is also the Author of mine.  He is the Author, not me.  It is entirely impossible for me to write with His pen but He is writing my life story to reveal a part of Himself that has never been sung before.  It will reveal another part of Who He is to the world and to heaven. 

Then, in the blink of an eye, I was back in the prayer room just as worship ended.

Needless to say, I was overwhelmed by such an experience.

Now you might be thinking exactly what I realized after pondering this experience for a few moments.  God never answered my questions about how my current circumstances were going to turn out.  But as I continued to think about what He showed me in response to my questions, I realized He did answer.

I cannot write my story.  It also follows that i do not understand what He will write in order to make a life story sing His praise.  But this one thing I do know:  He is writing my story in such a way as to reveal Himself.  And just as an author is not surprised with the direction or way their story ends up, neither is God surprised or concerned.  He is writing my story.  It will sing His praises in harmony with the lives of all His children.

With that revelation, what point is there in worrying about the next phase of my story?  My Author knows!  And He is working out every detail before I even get there, planting Himself and His gifts along my path in such a way that my life will have no choice but to praise Him.

Suddenly Jesus' words from the Sermon on the Mount make a lot more sense.

Matthew 6:25-33 AMP

Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on.  Is not life greater than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap not gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them.  Are you not worth much more than they?

And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure to his stature or to the span of his life?

And why should you be anxious about clothes?  Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow' they neither toil nor spin.

Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence was not arrayed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?

For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given to you besides.





May 25th, 2011 - Beliefs and Actions

posted May 25, 2011, 8:24 PM by Amanda Wunderlich   [ updated Aug 25, 2011, 4:08 PM ]

May 25th, 2011 - Beliefs and Actions


Since the addition of a dog into my life in March, I have walked the 3 mile stretch of road by my home certainly dozens of times. 
__________

Once, and sometimes twice a day, I snap on Curry's leash and we hit the pavement for a quick jaunt.  Our out-of-town location makes it an hour of relaxing sunshine and wildlife, a perfect break from work and the business of home.

Sometimes another member of my family accompanies me and we have a great time talking over the many things going on in our day and the world.  But when it is just Curry and I, I have also found the time offers a good opportunity to pray.

It happened earlier this month at the start of our walk that Curry nosed a piece of trash out of the brush.  After a quick command for him to "Leave it!  Yucky!" we continued on down the road but something was different.  I suddenly began to see trash everywhere as we walked along.  Beer cans, glass and plastic bottles, cigarette cases, fast food containers, coffee cups from various stands.  They all seemed to jump out at me from their dusty resting places about the ditch, snagged in the bushes and tall grass.    

I thought it odd that it suddenly seemed so noticeable when I had walked the road so many times in the past and hardly paid it any attention.  It so snagged my attention that it made its way into the conversation I was having with the Lord:  "Lord, it is such a shame what we do with the beauty You have created and entrusted to us!  Look at the trash littered everywhere along here.  It is so sad."

Immediately I heard Him reply.  "Yes, it is sad.  It is also sad that those who know better and have ample opportunity to right another's wrong do nothing about it."  He followed this gentle statement with a question.  "If a professed belief does not result in action taken, how sure can you be of the validity of the belief?"

I felt instantly challenged inside by the quite voice that resonated through my spirit.  I started thinking about what He had spoken, quickly running over in my mind the things that I say I believe.  How many of them do I back up with what I do?  How many of them are only just...beliefs?

I was raised, as I would imagine a great many people were, that littering is flat out unacceptable.  I can remember as a little girl my mom telling me that everyone needs to do their part in keeping the earth clean and beautiful.  It is a belief I have held and intend to pass on to my children.  But what the Lord was talking about here was more than that.  I asked myself, how could I truly believe littering is wrong and yet walk past trash every day without even seeing it?  And if I can do that, am I not nearly as guilty of littering as those who originally threw the trash on the ground to start with?  I may have a belief but it is not strong enough that it has provoked me to take action.

I am not going to take the time to go through the many beliefs I examined during that short hour walk or the many places I found myself wanting.  Such secrets are between my Father and me.  But I would like to pose a few questions for my readers to ponder.

Do you believe that we should not break the law and that the officers who enforce it should be respected?  Then, what about speeding?  Or is the law only to be followed while we are being observed?  Action should follow belief.

This principle goes beyond the earthly realm into the spiritual.  Do you believe Jesus commanded us to go into all the world carrying the kingdom?  I would like to suggest to you that your neighborhood is a part of "all the world".  You do not have to travel to a far off place in order to fulfill His commandment.  You are surrounded by people of "all the world" every single day.  People who need to hear and EXPERIENCE who He is.   

Jesus has commanded us to love one another.  What about the people you do not get along well with at work, a client that constantly makes things difficult for you, or even a member of your own family?  Actions should follow beliefs.

Curry and I now take a trash bag with us once a week.  This is only one tangible change that has come forth from what the Lord spoke to me that day.  We get lots of people smiling and waving at us as we make our way along the ditch picking up the trash.  To those I would say this:  Do not thank me.  If you believe that littering is wrong, then find someplace to pick up the trash in your neighborhood.  Do something and be proud that your belief is not only a belief...but is also action.
 

April 13th, 2011 - Courage to Live

posted Apr 13, 2011, 10:24 AM by Amanda Wunderlich   [ updated Aug 25, 2011, 4:08 PM ]

April 13th, 2011 - Courage to Live

I was spending some quiet time before the Lord one night when He drew my eye to my easel.  My current prophetic work-in-progress "Montana...Can These Bones Live?" was propped up on the stand.  (See the work on the On the Easel page.)

When God first gave me the picture, it came with a message for the State of Montana.  In a nutshell, He spoke about things valued more extinct than alive, more as an icon of the past than for their future, coming back to life again.  That this State and people will once again become known and valued not just for their past but for their future.  Not for their death but for their life.  And like the Lord asked Ezekiel, He is now asking us, “Montana…can these bones live?  Do you believe I can do this?  Can you see the dead things coming back to life again?  Prophecy to the bones!”  

At the time, I did not believe the picture had a personal message.  But this time when I looked at it I heard the Lord speak very clearly into my spirit.  This is the entry that I wrote in my journal.

March 17th, 2011

 

"This picture is not just for the State of Montana, the Flathead Valley or Kalispell.  There is a personal message as well.  [The message is] It takes courage to live.  It takes courage to allow the dead places inside to live again.  Like the army in Ezekiel 37, there are dreams that have been brutally slain.  Hopes and promises have bleached in the sun.  It is easier to let them stay that way.  Dead things have no feeling.  They cannot be disappointed.  They have no uncertainties, no doubts, no questions.  They are predictable and safe.  But it takes courage to live."

I believe there is a call coming that is going to rattle the bones hidden away in the battlefields of our hearts.  God is asking, "Can these bones live?"

What is your answer?  Will you allow things to come to life again?  It takes courage to live.  To feel.  To hope.  To love.  It takes courage to dream and plan for a future.

Do not fight to remain dead.  For though life may come, it is fragile.  Those who do not long for life will snuff it out again, believing death to be safer.  It takes courage to live.  All places where death has crept in, make the decision to allow life; a life that thrives and experiences all that God intended it to experience.  An army ready at attention to receive orders from the One who gives them life.


The following night while at a worship meeting, the Lord addressed this again.  During a quite time in worship I saw a picture of a gravestone and heard the Lord say, "Every human heart has a graveyard."

Then suddenly I was looking at a row of gravestones in a beautiful, peaceful church cemetery.  A chapel was off to one side.  The entire site was surrounded by tall trees that moved ever so slightly in a gentle wind.  The sun was shining.  Everything was well cared for and appearing well in order.  I knew I was looking at the graveyard of my heart.  Somehow in my mind I would have expected it to be a dark, depressive sort of place.  It did not seem so terrible to me.

I heard the Lord say, "You think because you have given them [hopes, dreams, prophetic words] a Christian burial that it is okay, even right and spiritual, that they have died and been buried.  But it is not okay.  I am not okay with graveyards."

I saw Jesus come into the clearing and begin to walk along the row of gravestones.  He read the description on each one as He passed.  At one, He paused and pointed.  "That one died prematurely," He said.

They were not only dead, like the bones of the army in Ezekiel 37, but I had buried them.  I had pronounced them dead and covered them over with pain, disappointment, regret, fear, and the biggest shovelful of all…resignation.  There were hopes, dreams, parts of my destiny even, that I had buried and wanted to believe that they were meant to be that way because it was painful to hope.  It was actually easier to allow them to be dead and gone.  And then, with my words, I had declared myself resigned to the loss and even determined to keep them safely buried in the ground.

In essence, I had taken control over certain areas of my life and decided that I would not revisit them again.  I had buried them.

I felt like I heard the Lord say, "You say you want Me to bring forth your destiny.  You say you will follow Me wherever I call you to go.  What if the time for the fullness of one of these promises is now and you have buried it?  Will you let it live again?  Will you trust Me and let Me bring it to life again?"

Even as I accepted that I wanted resurrection, I saw Him hand me a shovel.  I knew I had to clear away the words spoken, stances taken, decisions made, and walls built that were holding down my destiny before resurrection could occur.  I had pronounced it dead.  Now I had to determine to live.  I had to have the courage to unearth a dream, a calling, a destiny and allow it to live again.

I will not say it is easy.  There is fear of experiencing pain or rejection again as you start unearthing what has been safely buried.  But the fact is, I do want all that God has for me in this hour, this moment of my life.  And if that means that I have to face things that frighten me, things I have hidden away so I do not have to look at them and deal with the emotions they bring, then I want to do it.  If He is not okay with graveyards, then I don't want to be either.

Yes, it takes courage to live.  But I can say, even after just a short time of agreeing with Life, that it is worth it all. 

Do not miss out on something God wants to bring forth in your life because you are trying to protect yourself.  Fear will never lead to freedom.  Only life will take you there.

February 14th, 2011 - The Empty Chair

posted Feb 14, 2011, 5:29 PM by Amanda Wunderlich   [ updated Aug 25, 2011, 4:09 PM ]

February 14th, 2011 - The Empty Chair

Sometimes it is amazing to me the times God chooses to speak with me about what is on His heart.

This last Saturday was such a time.  The past week had been riddled with challenges, the current day impossible and incapable of ending fast enough.  I collapsed in a chair before the fire around ten in the evening, emotionally exhausted and trying to not even think about having to get up early for church the next day.

Church...

And then I remembered.  It was my turn to teach the Firestarters Bible class.  I inwardly cringed as I thought of how I had only glanced through the subject material I was supposed to teach from and basically had no idea what I was going to do.  To top it off, I felt completely spiritually dry with absolutely nothing left to give.  I leaned my head back and inwardly cried out a desperate prayer for help as tears burned the back of my eyelids.  How could I give into anyone feeling as completely wrung out as I did? 

The Father's Love Letter. 

My eyes slid open at the quiet words whispered into my spirit.  I have been touched many times watching the video but had not thought of it for some time.  Though moving from my chair was not something I particularly wished to do, I had asked for help and He had given me something.  I went to the computer and downloaded the recording, then just sat in the computer chair and let it play through a few times.  The words and music flowed over me and I felt the Lord's presence come.

Then all of a sudden, I was watching a scene play out before my mind's eye as clearly as if I were watching a movie.  I want to share it with you because I believe there is a special glimpse of the Father's heart here that more people need to see besides myself.

But first, take a moment to listen to the Father's Love Letter.  Even if you have heard it before, there is nothing like hearing words from His heart again and again. 

I saw a kitchen like one might see in a movie depicting the perfect country life.  Old fashioned warm colors, a table overflowing with food, bread rolls nearly tumbling out of a basket lined with a checkered cloth.  The sun was shining brightly through the window.  All was perfectly peaceful and homey.  Seated in one of the chairs at the table was myself back as a little girl of maybe seven years old.  I was looking over the incredible meal set before me with a child’s anticipation, too low in the chair with the table coming up to my chest.  I looked up and saw that seated directly across from me was Papa God. 

It is interesting, I have always wondered what the Father really looks like and how I would feel if I ever were to see Him.  Jesus has always been easy for me to picture with His hands open and beckoning, a smile on His face.  But when it came to the Father’s appearance, my imagination remained shadowed by vague impressions from paintings depicting an imposing old man with flowing gray beard in robes with a fierce expression. 

So…what did I see when I looked at the Father?  I can say it in one word: Love.  I do not recall noticing His hair, whether or not He had a beard, what He was wearing, or even most of the details of His face.  But I saw His eyes.  It is hard to describe but somehow there was no need to take in anything else.  All that the Father is can be seen right there in His gaze.  His eyes were deep royal blue and focused on me with so much love it was staggering.  The skin about His eyes was slightly creased with laugh lines.  He was smiling at me.  The most secure and wonderful feeling flowed over me as I looked into His eyes and smiled back.  I had always thought there would be a nervousness or holy fear in seeing the Father.  I felt no such thing.  There was such a beautiful feeling of belonging, of being loved completely and treasured beyond measure.  I felt I could stay seated at that table basking in His love forever. 

Then, as I watched, the Father’s eyes shifted to look just to the left of me.  I watched as His eyes changed from glowing with that unexplainable love to swimming with tears of sadness.  The change was so real and tangible that I felt pain slice into my heart at the sight.  This awesome Father of mine was hurting.  Something was making Him sad.  I looked to my left and saw that the chair beside mine…was empty.

In that instant I heard the Holy Spirit ask me a question: “Whose seat is the one next to yours?”

I felt a consuming desire to find the person who was missing.  To bring them to the table and see all traces of sadness and grief vanish from my Father’s eyes.  For the family to be whole, every seat at the table filled and everyone together to partake in the meal.  I wanted them to feel the love that I had felt  when looking into His amazing eyes.

Later, as I pondered what I had seen, I was reminded of Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son.  I suddenly saw the older brother in a very different light.  I saw him dining with his father night after night, seeing his father’s saddened eyes look to the empty place that belonged to the younger brother.  I saw him passing his father on his way to work the farm, watching as his father looked down the road, his eyes straining in the hope of seeing his lost son returning.  And I found myself wondering, why did the older brother do nothing to locate him?

That seat next to mine belongs to someone.  Do I know who they are?  Could I be the one that reminds them the Father loves them and wants them to come home?  That love I saw and experienced when the Father looked at me is the same for the person who was not at the table.  He loves that person and grieves their absence from His table like nothing I have ever imagined.   

I don't want to be like the older brother in Jesus' parable that goes on as though no one is missing, saying, "Pass the gravy, please" and not seeing or feeling what is on my Father's heart.  I don't even want to get busy on the farm, doing a bunch of good things, but still failing to apply myself to that which is most heavy on my Daddy's mind...those that are missing from His table.

I want to be the child that says to my Father, “Don’t worry, Daddy.  I’ll go find them and let them know supper’s ready.”

So, whose seat is next to yours?

 

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