I know. We’ve heard this story a thousand times. Son wants his inheritance. Dad gives it to him. Son runs off, squanders his fortune, ends up in the pig pen begging the swine for food. Has an aha! moment – dad’s servants get treated better than this! Maybe he’ll let me be a servant. He goes home. Dad’s been waiting, watching everyday for his precious son to come home. Dad throws a big party. Son who stayed behind and did the right thing gets pretty ticked off. Bad son gets party while good son gets to watch. Good son misses the point that he’s been in the favor of the dad the whole time. Moral of story: God is waiting on His children who’ve walked away to return and will rejoice with all the angels when it happens. Not the greatest retelling, I suggest you read it for yourself – it’s in Luke 15:11-32. It’s an amazing story of redemption and offers hope to all who’ve stepped away from God. And….in it, I saw a little something else….
Sometimes, we can be doing all the right things….reading our Bible, going to church, praying, giving….but still will find ourselves in a less than desirable place. Maybe it’s circumstantial – things aren’t going the way you expected. Maybe something the devil dangled in front of you caught your eye. Maybe you had a huge life upset. Maybe someone hurt you. But, whatever the reason, you find yourself having a little pity party….or, if you’re like me, a BIG pity party!
See, before, I always read the prodigal son story simply as written. So, I had a hard time seeing myself in it. I returned to the Lord a long time ago. He is my Lord and I love Him and serve HIm to the best of my ability. I don’t drink, smoke, party. I’m not living a crazy life. The dear husband and I are about as boring as can be. But, last week, I saw something I had never seen before…
In Luke 15:15-17, the Prodigal was hanging out with the pigs, wishing they’d share their food when he came to himself. He was having a big ‘ol pity party! In a rush, I could see that pig pen as a place of depression, self-pity, insecurity – a “woe is me” place to hang out. Trust me, I’ve been there! There was a time in my life that I lived there, but I “came to myself.” It’s like I suddenly quit daydreaming (or day-maring) and realized that my Father didn’t want me to live that way. And that He had every. single. thing. I needed or desired in my life. But, here’s the catch, He expects me to rely on Him to get it. With that revelation, suddenly the sun started shining again, I could see flowers and I was free!
Occasionally, I find myself hanging out in the pig pen even now. But, God doesn’t want me there. He wants me home, warm, fed and happy in the palace with Him. I simply have to choose that. Yes, it’s that simple. Please note that I didn’t say easy, I said simple. Yes, there’s a difference. It’s a simple plan that God has for our lives. In Him there are riches untold and all we have to do is give our everything to Him….to admit it’s all His anyway. But, that’s not always easy.
So….what about you? Where are you today? Are you partying with Jesus or begging the pigs for their food?
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!