In Luke's Gospel, we find the story Jesus told of the "Prodigal Son."
It is about a young man who leaves home, rejects the way he was brought up and lives life his way. For a while things go great. Everything is working out just as he planned -- wine, women and song!
He soon finds out that it is short-lived happiness and he is faced with decisions he wasn't counting on. One decision in particular was, "Should I go back home?"
Should he go back to his father's house? Should he admit that he made a big mistake? Should he swallow his pride and change the direction of his life? Should he admit he needs the help of his father? As we look at this story, we find there are very good reasons to go back home.
First, he ran out of resources. He had left home with his inheritance and it seemed to him that it was sufficient. His resources allowed him to approach life his way. His resources were more than just money. They included his resourcefulness and his ability to cope with life from his own ingenuity and coping skills. If he was willing to admit it, this was a good reason to go back home.
Second, this young man tried his best to fix things on his own and he failed. He didn't just sit around and feel sorry for himself. There was a famine that hit the land and he went and found a job. It wasn't much, but it was a job. It was degrading and didn't meet his needs the way he hoped. He did his best to fix his situation, to fix his life, but it didn't work. It was a good reason to go back home.
The third reason we find is that none of his friends had an answer that would work. All the individuals who had become a part of his life didn't have the ability to help him at all. As a matter of fact, they abandoned him when he needed them the most. And those who stayed, if any, weren't able to help because they approached life the same way he did. It was a good reason to go back home.
This story paints a picture, not only of a son, but of a father. When Jesus tells this story He is giving us a glimpse of the Heavenly Father. He is showing us God! By doing so, he also shows us that the father is another reason to go back home. The father loved him and had the resources and the ability to change his life.
His father cared about people. The boy knew this by the way his father treated his servants. He didn't fully realize it, but his father would forgive him and would use his resources to change the boy's life. His father would change an awkward situation into a celebration and welcome him as one of the family. His father was a good reason to go back home.
This is often replayed today; the story of someone needing to come to God. It is replayed in people who have exhausted all of their resources; who have tried to fix things on their own and failed; whose friends have not been able to come up with the solution needed to see changes in their life.
All of these are good reasons to come to God, but the best reason is still because God loves them and makes his resources available to change their lives. His forgiveness is real and available. God can still turn an awkward situation into a celebration.
There are good reasons to come back home!
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