When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger!”
Repentance is not the moment our stomach speaks, but God will use even the needs of our flesh to turn us around. The younger brother’s stomach was the first to repent, but that got the ball rolling. And so it is with us. Our headache the next morning after the hangover gets the ball rolling. The emptiness of lying next to a stranger after a night of sexual encounter gets us thinking there must be a more fulfilling way. The sick feeling after losing a bet or a gamble on our favorite team or losing the big business deal we had been working towards for months gets us pondering about the direction of our inner compass. Or our disappointment in good things, even if we have done everything right so to speak—relationships are fairly healthy, money in the bank, job stable, popularity on track and so on—our gut has this knowing that there must be more than this.
The younger brother represents all of us at the moment we come to our senses—where we realize that God is real and perhaps that what He has for us is better than what we are currently experiencing. The younger brother knew at least that much. He wasn’t sure of the Father’s response to him coming back, but what he did know was that the servants and hired hands were better off than how he was currently living. This is a big moment in our lives where we realize that being the lowest of the low in God’s Kingdom is greater than being the highest of the high in the world’s empires. We are not sure necessarily how things will pan out for us, but we are sure we will be fed and more satisfied by the Father’s care than the enemies manipulation.
We are soon to find out as, as humans, that the Father never treats us as hired hands, but it may be important for us to realize that lowest levels of His goodness are greater than the heights of our selfish ambitions.
// Pastor Josh Kelsey