I have read the story of the prodigal son many times. Yet this morning, two scenes struck a chord in my heart in a poignant bitter-sweet-sour manner. One from each son:
16 He 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!
The younger son’s hunger:
The prodigal son came to a point in his wandering life where he had to work for food when he had a very rich father who can feed many servants so much better. He was literally in the mud with the pigs – even the pigs were better fed than he was. How pathetic!
How often have I been longing to fill my stomach with scraps of food from places that do not satisfy when I have a heavenly Father who created the whole universe, who gives good things to his children? Even on those who do not acknowledge Him as their father, He causes the sun to shine on them… how much more would He satisfy my hunger if only I know how to ask, seek and knock on his door!
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. ’”
The older son’s anger:
The older son was angry. “I have always been a diligent responsible son. I have never disobeyed you. Yet you treat this rebel better than he deserved.. better than I deserve!” He was bitter and sour with envy.
My son, you are always with me…
How often have I taken for granted my identity as the Father’s child? The older son was so focused on what he did not get e.g. the party celebrating his brother’s presence, he forgot to celebrate what he always has: his father’s presence. Is it not sad when I lost sight of what I have because I look instead at things others have?
Everything I have is yours… If the older son had asked his father for a young goat to celebrate with his friends, do you think the father would deny him that? Everything my heavenly Father has is mine… I only need to ask… everything my father has is mine, what more can I ask?
Am I hungry or angry? Time to turn around and seek the Bread of life. Time to take pleasure in my heavenly father’s presence and claim his presents – I am his child. I am always with him as he is always with me. Everything he has is mine.
What a full abundant life!