“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”. Jeremiah 1:5.
Most of us have gone through the stage of being lost. There are times we forget who we are, and forget where we come from. Often we find ourselves lost in the wilderness, looking for an identity, pleasure, wholeness, love, and many other things. We’ve been guilty of making some serious decision that affect us, and cut us deeply in a way that it seems almost impossible to turn back time.
Do you remember the parable of “The Prodigal Son”? We often overlook the stories we were told growing up, and forget the powerful messages they hold. Have a read through Luke 15: 11 – 31 and refresh your memory.
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
I love this parable! Whenever I feel like I’m stuck somewhere in life I always seem to come back here, because of it’s utter simplicity, but I’m going to break it up in a way you may or may not have experienced it before.
We all come from God, we’re made in His image, so we’re children of God. A child naturally has the right to an inheritance of his or her father’s property. Even though we know all this as human beings, we always seem to make decisions that will jeopardise our relationships. We’d rather spend time doing things that will dis-honour our family name, than do what’s right and follow the rules that are there to keep us from harm.
Just like the lost son we’ve just read about, we sometimes get fed up with God’s timing, so we try to rely on our own strength, without realising that we’re chasing things that are temporary and harmful, giving a bad reputation to our family name (Christians). These decisions we make may feel right at first, and they might feel good, but they leave us feeling empty, and hungry for more. We will do anything to satisfy that void we’ve created, just like the lost son did, when he even considered eating what the pigs were being fed.
Eventually we get pushed to the edge. Have you ever been so disconnected from God, living a life that is displeasing to him? You’ve sinned so much that you feel unworthy to seek his face? For those who have ever felt this way, let’s look at how the Father reacts when he sees his son again.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
God is waiting patiently for you, even when you are at your most vulnerable. He’s waiting for you to come back to him, and when you do, he’ll throw a party! He’ll shower you with his love, nurturing you to fill that void that was created.
This is just a simple lesson to remember. Don’t use this as an excuse to go crazy! but if things begin look grim, don’t forget who’s name you carry. You carry the name of Christ, which is why you’re a Christian.