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. (NIV) Luke 15:14-16
There was a father with two sons – the younger of the two received his inheritance early and took off to find a new way of living. Without the restraining influence of the father’s supervision, the son wasted his wealth in wild undisciplined, riotous living. Thomas Huxley has said: “A man’s worst difficulties begin when he is able to do just as he likes.” That was what happened.
After the son had spent everything, there was a severe famine and two disasters hit him at once – there was no money and no food. The boy, once a son of a nobleman, became a servant. He had erroneously thought that money would bring him freedom, but in the end, it enslaved him. For awhile life started looking better. . .but, it got worse. No one cared. . . he was a nobody. . . he had no identity apart from his family. Once he cut the ties with his family, he lost his security, his assurance of marriage, and his physical and emotional well-being. His master sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He became so desperate he longed to “fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything” (Luke 15:16).
When have you felt like you wandered into a distant country? When have you felt lost in life’s complexities? Have you run your life your own way, but now it hasn’t worked out how you envisioned it? Perhaps you are not sure why you are in your profession. . . it is unfulfilling, working long hours, the money you are making now seemed like it would be sufficient ten years ago, but there never seems to be enough. Or perhaps your marriage is not what you signed up for at the altar. . .you promised you would love each other until the end, but now you are only half-way and it seems like such a struggle, the love is not there and you hardly know each other.
What dreams have you been chasing? What have you been pursuing that you thought would bring you happiness and purpose in life? But now, there’s only emptiness. Don’t lose hope in the “distant country.” There is One who desires to fill the emptiness with purpose, fill the despair with hope, fill your heart with love and joy, and welcome you home. . . welcome you home in His home!