Good morning! I’m sorry this devotional is coming to you a day late, as I was out sick yesterday. I think you’ll find that today’s devotional was worth the wait. Our writer for today is Jeff McKee. Jeff is wrapping up his TCU experience this semester, but I’ve had the great joy of knowing Jeff for several years now. We first met when Jeff came to meet with me as he was figuring out how to navigate some challenges life had placed before him, and that quickly grew into a relationship that would mean a great deal to both of us. It’s been an honor to be with him on his life’s journey, and I’m so proud of the person he is today. Jeff’s words for us today not only invite us to reflect on ways that we might have drifted away from God, but also remind us that God’s deep and abiding love is always present. I hope you’ll appreciate his vulnerability and use this time, as always, to reflect on your own path. Blessings on your journey, my friend…
“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. 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! 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.”
Jesus’ Parable of the Prodigal Son really hits home for me, and I would venture to say that more of us can relate than you might actually think.
Life gets busy, we prioritize different things, and our time-management may become a bit skewed. As humans, we also like to be in control. For many of God’s children, at some point in time we wander off the path He is leading us down. We often assume control of our own lives, doing what we want to do, when we want to do it and how we want to do it. In these instances, God can be pushed to the back burner or sometimes forgotten altogether.
I recently had a very eye-opening experience. I was one of many of God’s children who loses their way down His path and assumes control of another path. My walk down this self-guided path was a battle every step of the way, which should have been my first clue. It took losing everything I had created for myself to realize that I couldn’t do anything without Him. I’ll be the first to tell you, hitting rock bottom was the best thing that ever happened to me.
Now here is the MOST IMPORTANT part of all of this. Are you ready for it? No matter how far we may stray, no matter how long we may ignore God, He always welcomes us back with open arms. Just as with the father of the prodigal son, our Father runs to us and welcomes us back with love and compassion. Though we may not have been aware of it while we were away, His love is always with us and always will be.
God, our Father, thank you for forever loving us. Help us when we stray from Your path to take Your hand to lead us again. Remind us to trust in You and Your plan, and to recognize that we cannot do anything without You. All the glory to goes to you, Lord. Amen.