Jesus continued, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger son spoke to his father. He said, ‘Father, give me my share of the family property.’ So the father divided his property between his two sons. “Not long after that, the younger son packed up all he had. Then he left for a country far away. There he wasted his money on wild living. He spent everything he had. Then the whole country ran low on food. So the son didn’t have what he needed. He went to work for someone who lived in that country. That person sent the son to the fields to feed the pigs. The son wanted to fill his stomach with the food the pigs were eating. But no one gave him anything. Luke 15:11-16 

One of the most difficult things to learn in life is how to budget finances and following the budget that’s created. I’ll always remember when I was in high school and any amount money in my possession burned a hole in my wallet. It was like I magically started “needing” random stuff that I never even thought about when I didn’t have the money.

Shortly after the son inherited the land and money, he wasted his money on wild living. He basically spent his money on useless things that didn’t really help him. Sometimes is makes me sad when I think about all the “stuff” I’ve bought in the past that I wish I could return and get my money back for. I was making an emotional decision in the moment and spending my hard earned money on things that really didn’t matter in the long run. The verse says that he spend everything that he had. Imagine spending every penny that’s in your name and your bank account having a big goose egg. It stresses me out just thinking about it. This is exactly what the Lost Son did. He drained his bank account on useless stuff and just to have a good time. He wasn’t thinking about his future and now he was placed in a tough situation.

Then he began to think clearly again. He said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough food! But here I am dying from hunger! I will get up and go back to my father. I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven. And I have sinned against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’ So he got up and went to his father. “While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him. He was filled with tender love for his son. He ran to him. He threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:17-20

He began to think clearly again! He has now realized that he wasn’t thinking at all when he drained his bank account of everything he owned. He spent so much money that he couldn’t even buy himself food. This is when the Lost Son hit rock bottom. He’s in a really tough place. The Lost Son said that he will apologize to his Father for what he has done and that he has sinned against heaven.  He was so upset with the decisions that he made against his earthly father and God. It is moments like this when we come to a realization of the things we’ve done wrong that God will do an amazing work within us to make us more like Jesus. God is not merely interested in the things that we’ve done, but our motive behind them. When we are authentic about changing our old ways, God does a mighty work within us.

So he got up…the best thing we can do is take the next right step. The Lost Son knew what he had to do, so he made to decision to go to his father and apologize for all the mistakes he made. The great thing about this story is that his father was waiting to embrace him. He opened up his arms wide and gave him a big hug and kiss. This is the picture of how God forgives us when we do wrong.

The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer fit 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 fattest calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. This son of mine was dead. And now he is alive again. He was lost. And now he is found.’ So they began to celebrate. Luke 15:21-24

The Lost Son then confesses what he did wrong. The father immediately asked his servants to help his son get ready to celebrate because he had found his way home. No matter how far we get off track in this life here on earth…our Father in heaven is always waiting for us to return to him. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to take the next right step, but when we do, it’s a liberating experience to know that God still forgives us no matter what sin we’ve committed. Whenever we feel like we are lost beyond hope, may we never forget that we have a savior who loves us and will always forgive us even when we hit rock bottom.