A few months ago, I started a series about the story of The Prodigal Son. Read the story here. And here are the earlier posts: Part I, Part II and Part III. For this fourth and final reflection, I want to look at the main character of the story, the lost son.
There is a lot you and I can take from the son and his journey to find his way back home. Two things that stood out to me were the lessons of patience and humility.
1. Patience – The son told his father he wanted his inheritance, and then went off and spent everything he had. If he had been a little more patient and willing to wait, he probably could have gotten more than he had. Although it was his inheritance, his father may have given him more — or it would have grown over time. Nevertheless, he couldn’t wait. To add to that, the son was not mature enough to be able to handle the money, as we see in the story. All the more reason he needed to wait. Too often we try to rush through our life or a given situation. But by doing so, we could miss what is trying to get our attention or what God is doing. In trying to rush to get our reward, we may miss the lesson in waiting or even the greater thing that’s on its way.
2. Humility – My favorite verse is 17 – “When he came to his sense…” Another translation puts it, “But when he came to himself.” The son remembered who he was. And in doing so, realized where he belonged. He realized it wasn’t his father’s intention for him to be lost, starving and jealous of pigs. But in order to go home, he had to humble himself enough to get back right with his father. And it’s the same thing with us. Many times, we can stray so far that we forget who we are — and whose we are. We are unaware of our purpose and God’s plan for our lives. And so we operate in fear. We are impatient, we run, we take whatever people give us, we accept whatever comes our way. But in humbling ourselves and recognizing that God has the power and the answers, we free ourselves to return to Him.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the series, at some point in our lives, we can find ourselves in the situation of the older brother, the father or the son. It’s up to us to determine how we will respond. We can’t always control what happens in our lives but we can control how we respond.