We have talked a bit recently with our oldest son about baptism. He shows interest, but then backs away when we start talking about the public testimony part of the process. Not because he doesn't have a testimony of God's goodness, but because his isn't as "good" as the others he hears. Or, it somehow seems like it is missing parts.
During baptism the pastors often ask people to share when they became a Christian, what they were like before, and who they are now because of Christ. Well, as one of those that became a Christian at a young age our son doesn't have a breath-taking story of redemption. He doesn't have a list of behaviors or experiences that he walked away from when God saved him.
I know how he feels, I felt the same way growing up. Now, I have the wisdom to be thankful for all that God saved me from, rather than what He had to save me out of. But, at times those of us who were fortunate enough to find Christ at a young age can feel like second-class citizens when it comes to testimony time.
Today, as I read the story of the prodigal son, I realized that sometimes I looked, and look, too much like the older brother. Sitting silently as everyone oohs and ahhs over another amazing life change. Comparing my "lame" testimony to these dramatic transformations. Missing all that God has done in and through me despite my early conversion.
The end of the parable did strike me today though. It says, " 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "
I don't really have a problem recognizing the greatness of a new creation from something that was so clearly old, I just sometimes feel like my story isn't as special. And, then the Father said to me, "You are always with me, and everything I have is yours."
However we got here, however short or long it took, however much or little we had to overcome or throw out in the process, however much God had to chisel away and purify, now we can be always with Him as joint heirs with His Son.
After all, it's not about my story, it's about HIS story. More Good News
31" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "
~Luke 15:31, 32~