Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile in our hearts & minds the difficulties that we manufacturer ourselves. Those incredible hardships that are self created are the most head shaking, “what in the world have I done” moments. I’m in one of those times right now and for what I reckon will be the coming weeks. It will take some time to turn it around but I can't help but wonder - is this is what the prodigal son felt like?
"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.The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. 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. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. ~Luke 15:20-24 (NIV)
As the boy lay in pig pens, wallowing in the slop of his life that he created - he felt unworthy to return home. He knew what he had created for himself was his own doing. He knew that he had disrespected his father and that his reality was his own doing, so how could he ask for forgiveness? But he was hungry. He was miserable. He was desperate.
Having brought himself to such a miserable place, he recalled how his righteous father treated even his hired servants so well. So he plans to return to his father and say three things:
(a) "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you" (v. 18),
(b) "I am no longer worthy to be called your son" (v. 19a),
(c) "treat me as one of your hired servants" (v. 19b). Even being treated as one of his father's hired servants would be better than the treatment he is receiving in the gentile world.
While he is still at a distance, the father sees him, has compassion upon him, runs to him, hugs him, and kisses him. This is far from the humiliating reunion that the son might expect based on his previous audacious and insulting treatment of his father! The returning son must have been astonished! But in that moment - the sone learned:
God's ability to clean things up is infinitely greater than our ability to mess things up.
Sometimes smart people do dumb things. Sometimes wise people do foolish things. And sometimes even godly people do sinful things. The bible is full of those kind of people and those kind of stories. Thank God for His word and the hope it brings.
I could write for hours on the verses in God's word that tell us to go to him in times of trouble. How God knew I would screw up this time of my life long before I screwed it up. How what seems impossible for us, is not impossible for God and how worrying is never a past time God wants us participating in.
He wants us to return home. And he will receive us just as the prodigal son's father did. With rejoicing and love and mercy. So take the step toward home...it's the first part of allowing Him to bless your mess.