Inspiration Teaching Words of Life Healing & Joy

Prodigal Son

prodigal

“Then when he came to himself he said….. I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight (Luke 15:17a, 18).

Most of us are familiar with the parable Jesus told of the loving father (a prototype of God) and his reckless, hedonistic son (a prototype of God’s children when we run away from Him) who became a slave to his addictions.   It wasn’t that this son was so “bad”.  He was just seeking contentment and success in places in places where they couldn’t be found.  He believed the lie that money, friends, alcohol (substance abuse), and unchecked morals, and a “party spirit” would generate fulfillment and happiness in his depressed life.  When he first received his inheritance, all seemed to be going his way, but as time went on, chaos replaced any semblance of stability, and his entire life whirled out of control.

Even in this place of misery, the son continued on in his stubborn pride, trying to make his way apart from surrendering to his father’s [God’s] help.  Because of a famine in the land, it was hard to find work, but the son manipulated a man to give him a job feeding the hogs, which enabled him to continue on for a little while longer in the wrong direction. Needless to say, he did not feel fulfilled in this line of work, and he was starving for something to eat besides pig slop.  But if the son could have made that life work for him, he would never need to find a better way.  The father believed his son had to find out for himself that he wasn’t living as the person he was created to be, nor was he doing what he really wanted to do.

When the prodigal “came to himself,” he became humble, recognizing that he needed his father’s  love and acceptance even though he no longer felt worthy of it.  When this young man returned to his father, he was received with love, forgiveness and joy. The father said, “This my son was dead but now is alive. This my son was lost but now is found!”  Then they had a real party and celebrated the life of this young man!

The prodigal’s loving father was very wise to let him leave home. He did not enable or recue his son prematurely from the pain that was being used to bring him ultimate healing.   Just like the prodigal’s father, God gives us freewill to choose our path. He will never force Himself on us, but He will allow us to live with our choices until our own understanding and pain produce the growth that is necessary to lead us back to Him.

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