prodigal-verseIn yesterday’s post I shared the story from Mark 3 where Jesus restored and made whole the man with the withered hand. Today, I want to focus on one sentence in that story: “Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, ‘Stand up in front of everyone’.” (Mark 3: 3)

This is the command Jesus gives and the challenge every prodigal faces. Can I stand up in front of everyone? Can I admit what I have done? Can I hold my head up and move forward?  Can I determine this new course of life without denying or trying to cover up the old one? Can humility and honesty replace my pride and shame?

In Luke 15, the prodigal begins his journey home when he stands up in front of himself. He discovers what he lacks and he’s not primarily referring to his loss of fortune, friends, or food. It finally dawns on him, he is not living the life the Father envisioned for him or even the one he envisioned for himself. He has fallen far short of all that.

That’s when he stands up to go home. That’s when he prepares a confession based on how he has been diminished by his losses.  He doesn’t believe he can ever recover what he’s lost but he is determined to live his life standing rather than fallen.

Yes, he stands up to go home and it is then he is delivered by the One who loves him. It is totally unexpected though at one time you could have said, he knew the Father. But, back in those days he lived bent over serving himself. It was only after he stood up and went to the Father in honesty and humility that he finally sees the Father for who he is: One who rejoices and embraces this son who “was dead and is alive again; (who) was lost and is found”. (Luke 15: 32)

So, stand up in front of everyone today and acknowledge the One who is filled with compassion for you and has given Himself for you. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.” (Proverbs 3: 5 – 7)

This will bring healing and strength for you to stand up in front of everyone!