Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Word Of God Incarnate"1 (Lyrics)
One morning, I bravely asked God to do something, anything, that would distinctly stir my heart. God answered my prayer later that day. It seems worth sharing:
I was driving in the countryside, and my attention was captured by two horses. They had been grazing quietly; then suddenly, they bolted into a gallop. It wasn't their quiet grazing, but their abrupt movement which caught my eye. I watched both horses race toward a house, and then I saw what got them so excited. It was a car driving up the laneway. Perhaps, a family member was arriving home from work. I didn't know, but the horses sure knew. And they were clearly excited about this as they galloped across the field. I could feel the energy that they exuded. I could imagine the ground shaking under their pounding hoofs. What energy! What power!
The horses came to an abrupt halt at the fence, but they couldn't stand still. Their heads tossed up and down in eager anticipation, all the while focusing on that car.
Indisputably, these were happy horses. I drove on, never to know the outcome for those horses. Yet, their exuberant behaviour lingered in my mind. I found myself asking, Isn't there someone in the Scriptures who bolted into a run like that? Who was it?
And then, I remembered. It was the father in the parable of the prodigal son:
Luke 15:20b – While [the son] was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him, and kissed him. (NIV)
God had answered my morning prayer through two exuberant horses. My imagination was stirred and sensitized to the sheer energy of fatherly joy. Now, I'm convinced that Jesus' story is best called "the parable of the happy Father". It's really about the overwhelming joy of the Lord, isn't it!
Thank You, God, for how You answered my prayer! "Ask and it will be given to you … for everyone who asks receives" (Matthew 7:7a,8a NIV).
Why did God use those horses to answer my prayer? Why did God draw me into such thoughts? Surely, it was because I needed it. After all, we seasoned Christians can become desensitized to the sheer power of God's joy. Over time, we come to see God as simply "there" — faithful and powerful, yes, but somewhat non-captivating — never shaking the ground beneath us. Also, we're perpetually at risk of becoming like the older brother in the parable — more captivated by the waywardness of the fallen than by the delight of our Father when His dear ones head home. Thank You, Father, for how You drew me into Your interests. It's just what I needed.
Would you like God to do something unique for you today? If so, you may wish to pray this:
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, I ask You to do something unique in my life today, anything which distinctly stirs my heart and captivates my attention. Open my eyes to see the answer that You prepare for me. Amen.