Chronicled in Luke
Young, full of spark, ready to take on the world. That’s who this guy was. He was not content to live the “boring, mundane” life at home anymore. He had to find his own adventure. He had to rope the moon, as it were. And, he had it all figured out. Or, so he thought. Anyone ever been there? I have. I suffered a similar fate as this guy.
So, the kid who knows it all goes to his father and asks for his inheritance early. Obviously, he can take better care of what’s his than the man who amassed it in the first place. Sure. The father obliged, divided his wealth up, and gave his younger son the portion he asked for. You can guess what happens next. The son did not buy real estate. He did not invest. He did not start a business. He did not give to the poor. He didn’t even so much as start a coin collection. He partied. He partied hard and fast.
In short order, he squandered everything he had and was left with nothing to show for it. All the ladies were gone. The party friends disappeared. He was broke, homeless, and had no idea how he had gotten to that place in life. Have you ever woke up with that question on your lips? That’s a hard spot to be in. So, the youngster began to work as a servant for a local citizen. He fed pigs. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it, right?
So far down the totem pole had this guy fallen that, in his state of famished poverty, he longed to eat the cornhusks that those porkers were munching on. The Bible says that he “came to himself.” That means he finally woke up! He realized that he could do better than this. He thought of his father’s house. “Even my dad’s servants have more than enough. Here I am starving to death! That’s it. I’ll go to my father and beg forgiveness. I know I burned my bridges as a son. Maybe he’ll let me be a servant.”
So, he climbed out of the muck, mire, and slop, dusted himself off, and set out to eat some humble pie in front of dear old dad. A strange thing happened on the way. As he was still far from the house, he saw a man running toward him. “Who is that guy? What’s going on? Why is he running?” As the man drew closer, he saw that it was his dad running to meet him.
The father fell into his son’s arms, embracing his offspring tightly. His son was alive. He was alive! He thought he might never see the lad again, and here he was, alive and well. The father did not allow his son to be anything other than his boy; not a servant, but an heir. So it is with us when we come to Christ. We deserve the pigs, but He gives us the palace. God pursues us even when we flee from Him. He remains a step away, waiting for our return.
So, how do we triumph in the midst of trial? Remember, God’s love stretches farther than you can run.