September 25, 2013

The truth I was reminded of from a hamster... (Guest Blogger: Nancy Janes)

While we were in Haiti we had an escape. Not there but back here in the US. Kelsey’s hamster Smoreo is nowhere to be found. They looked and looked but couldn't find her. Today I have searched the house with no success. I had the sad thought that should I find Smoreo the chances of her being still alive are not good. It’s been several days now with no food and no water. The other danger is Tigger, our cat. Who knows if he’s had an extra kitty treat. I started thinking….Smoreo got out of her cage. She now had her freedom. Or did she? In her cage she had everything she needed…food, water, a place to run around, a noisy wheel for exercise, almost daily hamster treats, bedding to get cozy in and Kelsey who watched over and loved her. Now in Smoreo’s “freedom” she is without. Maybe she can run more but she no longer has the necessities of food and water and no one to come love on her.  

This made me think about the prodigal son in the Bible and us as people. The son in the story had all he needed at his father’s house just as we have all we need in God’s arms. But within both there are boundaries. Just like Smoreo’s cage. But boundaries to protect us, not to hinder us or hold us back. The prodigal son didn't and sometimes we don't see it that way and feel we are too confined with God. There is no fun! That we need our freedom and independence. So we run.  

The son took his inheritance from his father and ran. We turn our back on God and the truths we know and run. Just like Smoreo I’m sure did once he was out of the cage. It feels great at first. We can stretch our legs, do what we want and not listen to the boundaries of life. But this excitement will begin to die. I would think that after some time Smoreo became hungry and thirsty but there was no Kelsey to fill the bowl or give a treat. With the prodigal son once his inheritance was gone the good times stopped. He was free but he was hungry and lonely.  

In our Christian life if we turn our backs on God so we can be ‘free’ but we still know the truth and real freedom in Christ and after some time that begins to haunt us. At this point there is a choice to make. Continue in ‘freedom’ or repent and go back to true freedom. The prodigal son did that. He went back to his father, asked for forgiveness and his father welcomed him with open arms. God too waits with open arms to welcome any of us back who have turned from him. Yes, this means boundaries again but as have discovered it means love and forgiveness and freedom in those needed boundaries.  Unconditional love.

Unfortunately I don't think this will be the case for Smoreo. I don't think we will have him return to say sorry for getting out of his cage. Unfortunately I think we will find Smoreo at the end of his life. Don't be like Smoreo. Don't wait until its too late. Don’t live your life running away and not having the life that God so wants to give you. Turn back and ask for forgiveness. You can never do anything that God can't forgive. He loves you and your present and your past. He waits for you.

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