The Pig Pen
But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough to spare, and I'm dying with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.' He arose and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion, and ran, fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luke 15:18'20 WEB.
The prodigal younger son in the story Jesus told here had really messed up his life. He ran through all of the inheritance his father had given him and spent it in wild living and prostitutes. When all his money was gone, so were his friends. A famine came on the land, and even those who may have helped him were no longer able to.
When he was broke and starving, he found work feeding pigs, which would have been repulsive to a Jew. Pigs (swine) were considered unclean under the mosaic law. After growing up on a farm, I can confirm that. There is nothing quite like the smell of a hog pen, and they love to wallow in the mud, which is also their toilet.
While the young man was starving and living in a disgusting place, he suddenly came to his senses. Hardship has a sobering way of bringing us back to reality. He remembered that His father's hired servants had food to spare. He decided to humble himself and go back home. While he lived with his father, he lived in royalty. When he lived on his own, he lived in utter poverty.
The son put together a repentance speech: "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants" (Luke 15:18). Then he humbly went to meet his father, broke, barefoot, and hungry.
His father saw him coming up the road and was moved with compassion. He ran out to meet his son and hugged and kissed him. While the son was still trying to explain how sorry and unworthy he was, the father was already commanding others to bring out the best robe and put it on him. Then a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. He threw a great feast and celebrated having his son back home safe and sound. The father was delighted to have his son come home.
Sometimes we stumble and feel like we are no longer worthy of talking to God. We think that we have let Him down once again. Then the enemy climbs on our back and rides us around like a pony, telling us how sorry we are. Often, he is right. We did it, and there is no one to blame but us. We knew it was wrong but chose to do it anyway.
Yet no matter what we have done in the past, we can humbly turn back to God, and He will begin to restore us. He is not mad but so happy to see us walking on His road. Too often, we go about with our head down, having no idea who we really are in Christ or how much we mean to Him. We are bound by our past and living exactly as the enemy wants us, broken and defeated when it could be corrected in seconds.
Even if you find yourself broken, hungry, and living in a disgusting place, and it was entirely your fault. Remember, God's door is still open and that He wants you back with Him. He promises us that He who believes in Jesus will never be put to shame. So shake off that defeated mentality and lift your head, for you are a Child of the King. You are always welcome in God's house. Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You for accepting me just as I am. Please restore me, Lord, and help me find my proper place in Your body. Help me come to know who I am in You. Restore my identity as Your child and lead me from this day forth. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!
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