Monday – Everything wastedLuke 15:13-16 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. The heart of a father burns with a never-ending longing to bring his children home. He longs to talk to them and warn them about the many dangers they will face. He wishes he could convince them that everything that they are searching for elsewhere, they can find at home. How he longs to draw them home with his fatherly authority, to hold them close, so that they will not get hurt. However, his love is far too great for him to do any of these things. He cannot make them, force them or order them to do what he wants. He offers the freedom to turn down love. The father wants his children to be free. This freedom includes the option of leaving home and losing everything. Except for a place in Lamentations, where mothers out of hunger cooked and ate their own children, we don’t have many other examples in the Bible of someone in a greater state of despair than the prodigal son. The younger son is slowly finding himself in his own personal hell. He accepts probably the most humiliating job that someone could offer him. He couldn’t be full even if he ate who knows how many bitter, tart and for humans indigestible wild pods. Thanks to hunger in the land, not even begging works; no one will give him anything. He is at the end of his strength and is afraid that he will die of hunger. Many of those who have abandoned God or who are not searching for him don’t look like they are materially very badly off–rather the opposite. Outwardly, their lives are going so well that many of us even envy them. Leaving home and abandoning God, however, is much deeper than it seems. Leaving the Father’s house is living as if I no longer have a home and I have to search for it throughout the whole world. Home, however, is the center of my being, the only place where I can hear the voice that says, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.” In some ways, all of human life and one’s relationship with God is a journey home. It is the search for a real home, which has always been and always will be; the search for the place where we can hear everything that we need to hear. The thirst for success, the longing for acceptance from others, the dependence on self-satisfaction, the need for power and achievement; all these things are just our wandering in a faraway land. Am I willing to come home where these things are not important? Am I willing to stop searching for unconditional love in places where it can’t be found? To be a child, that doesn’t need to do anything to be loved? To accept a second innocence through birth from above which I can’t in any way earn myself in the house of my Father? Prayer Points:
- Prayerfully search where you have distanced yourself from the Father’s house. Where do we search for acceptance from others through our achievements and react with anger at criticism? Where do we compare ourselves with others? What are our addictions that prevent us from resting in the Father’s embrace?
- Pray for our mothers and fathers; search and see how far we are from them and how far away they are from us. Give thanks for our parents and ask for reconciliation or forgiveness where it is needed.
- Plea for those around us, who are wasting their abilities and gifting on useless things, because they don’t know God. Pray that God would use them for his masterpiece.
- Search for the places where we are wasting the wealth which we received from God on things that will not last in the Kingdom of God.
- Pray that the church will not waste the potential that is hidden in her people; but rather, give it space to multiply.