In the message “Their Field of Pigs” we considered the parable of the prodigal son and were encouraged to remember that God will use every tool available (even pigs) to draw His children Home. Our highest desire for those who are lost must be to see them secure in the arms of God. Notice that in this parable there is no mention of the father between the time the son left and when he returned home. The father appears to have watched his son leave and then simply waited for his return.
But the father must have known of his son’s condition while away; “this son of mine was dead and is alive again” (Luke 15:24). There must have been many reports of the son’s activities which were openly discussed with the rest of the family: “The older brother became angry…’this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home'” (Luke 15:28,30). And yet, while the son was away, the father never once stepped in to “rescue” him.
Was the father lazy and uncaring? Was this simply the product of a macho culture that didn’t show much emotion? Or rather, was this a father who truly knew how God’s grace could work a difficult situation toward a wonderful good?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
We often reference this passage during times of personal trial. These verses encourage us to understand that God will make use of our difficult times. We are encouraged to trust God so fully that we actually rejoice because we know He will use our trials to make us complete.
Many of us understand and at least try to apply these verses in our own life. But it’s an additional step of faith (a very big step) to trust and apply these verses in the life of others – especially those we dearly love. If we are to rejoice in our own trials because of the good being worked within us, there is also a sense in which we should rejoice in the trials of others.
As painful as it must have been, the father stayed away and allowed God to complete His work – even though it meant his son would actually long to eat with the pigs! And yes, this father loved his son.
When someone we love goes astray, let’s continue to lift them up in prayer; always let them know they are loved and continually speak a gentle message of truth. Let’s NEVER give up hope, but let’s allow God to finish the glorious work He’s begun. Let’s trust Him above ALL else and love enough to let go.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Mar 23 Num.-Deut 36:1-1:46; Luke 5:29-6:11; Psalm 66:1-20; Proverbs 11:24-26