A Sort of Parable by Elizabeth Rice Handford

Once upon a time, long ago and far away, lived a handsome prince with his beautiful wife and his three tall sons. They were all children of the High King of Heaven and Earth, and they all loved Him very much.

But one evening the beautiful wife got an anonymous phone call. The speaker said, “If you want to know where your handsome husband is right now, go to the motel on such-and-such a street to room number so-and-so.” So she took her eldest tall son and went to that room at that motel, and sure enough, her husband was there with another woman.

The beautiful wife was shattered. The eldest son was furious with his father. But the prince was mortified and deeply ashamed about his betrayal.

He said to his pastor, “I am so, so sorry. It’s all my fault. My dear wife is not to blame. Why would I hurt my family so badly? I can’t bear to face them in my shame. I’ve really blown it. There’s no hope for me. I deserve their hatred.”

His pastor answered him, “Your Father, the High King of Heaven, knows all about this, and He gave me this letter to read to you. It’s from His son King David. See, David did exactly what you’ve done. Here’s what he says:”

Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak
and miserable, and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.”
And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Psalm 32:1-5

Then the pastor added, “But that’s not all of the letter. Your Heavenly Father added a P.S.:”

I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control. Psalm 32:7,8

“Thank God!” the sad prince said. “From now on I’m listening to the King my Father.”

So the son of the King went home sober and grateful. He and his wife lived happily ever after even through the hard experiences of life. His wife and sons never, ever mention that awful time. But you can be sure that sometimes the prince remembers his terrible sin, and makes a fresh vow to his Father that he will always, always listen to, and obey, His quiet voice.

And that’s the only hope for all of us when we’re afraid we’ve ruined everything.