the older brother

he answered his father, ‘look! all these years i’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. yet you never gave me even a young goat so i could celebrate with my friends. but when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
‘my son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything i have is yours. but we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’

how many times have i lamented the lack of drama in my life? i have (mostly) obeyed my parents, gotten the grades, didn’t date musicians, made just that one big mistake which didn’t exactly devastate things and have not given people any cause to gossip. my mother just commented the other day, “you’re a good girl, your sister’s a good girl…our family’s kind of perfect, isn’t it?

recently, the moaning over this matter has been one of…frustration? jealousy? that i have no great testimony to share; just small stories that hardly do the grace of God the justice it deserves. there has been no cause for the celebration of a returned daughter because i never did stray far in the first place.

i saw myself in the shoes of the older brother of the prodigal son in the parable that many know by heart. i have worked hard, both out of the love for Jesus and out of my own motives, and now i am grumbling, “where is my reward for being good?

but He said, “you are always with me, and everything i have is yours.” your inheritance is the same as your brother’s – why worry about that at all? foolish child, why let this sow hatred against your brother?

perhaps all the older brother wanted was some kind of recognition for his dedication – he just never realised that his reward was not in one-time celebrations; it was always there as part of the bigger picture that our near-sighted eyes cannot see, that my myopic vision could not decipher.

but it’s there. and i should not grumble.


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