Luke 15:17 NIV
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
A Return to Destiny
This past weekend I decided to have a relaxing day that consisted of a marathon of one of my favorite childhood sitcoms “A Different World”. I watch re-run after re-run and I can’t seem to get enough of the love story of Dwayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert. They started off as college friends, but as destiny would have it that would later become husband and wife, however it wasn’t an easy route to get there. Their friendship began in college and lead to them dating. After graduation Whitley received a job offer out of state. Dwayne had some uncertainties about their long distance relationship, but as he was about to watch destiny board the train he realized she was the one and proposed. Later in the story as they were preparing for their engagement party Dwayne Wayne began having uncertainties again about his future with Whitley and strayed away by dating another woman. Whitley discovered Dwayne’s feelings and called the engagement off. Whitley was able to move on with her life, met a senator, Mr. Byron Douglas, fell in love, and they became engaged. This entire time Dwayne is still somewhat a part of Whitley’s life as he is on the campaign staff for the senator and he watches as his destiny gets away from him. On the day of the wedding Whitley prepared as normal. She walked down the aisle to meet her groom, Byron, but something happens. Dwayne is back home sick that his destiny is getting away from him. He comes to his senses and decides to attend the wedding. As the vows are being recited Whitley experiences some uncertainty. Dwayne steps in begging her to be his bride. She apologies to Byron, runs from the altar and destiny meets again. Now Dwayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert are finally married as they were destined to be.
As I pondered on this love story I was drawn to the story of the Prodigal Son and how God is a God of second chances. When we stray away from our destiny God has a way of knocking us to our senses to get us to where He desires us to be. Sometimes it takes for us to hit rock bottom first, but God’s ultimate will shall come to pass.
The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31) lived with his father. All of a sudden he decided he wanted his inheritance sooner rather than later. For whatever reason the father decided to give him the money. The Prodigal Son took off from the place that had all that he needed. I can imagine the father was hurt and possibly disappointed by his son’s actions but he still granted his son’s request. Scripture tells us the Prodigal Son went far from home, lived life on the wild side, and blew all of his money. He was broke. To make matters worse the country he moved to experienced a famine meaning there was a scarcity of food and he experienced starvation. Out of desperation he had to secure a job in the pigs pin, but was still unable to eat. The Prodigal Son was starving, lacking, and truly hit rock bottom.
How many of us have been like Dwayne Wayne or the Prodigal Son where we had what we needed in front of us or God has us in the right place, but we abandoned it either for our own self-satisfaction or our own uncertainties in life? Have you ever walked away from a marriage or a relationship only to find that after dating several people that person you walked away from was perfect for you? Have you ever been on a job and wanted to quit, you did quit, only finding that life unemployed was far worse than life on that job you left? Have you ever walked away from your family only to find no one else loves you unconditionally like they do? Have you ever dropped out of school only to find out that the degree program was the key to your future? In life we can walk away from some of the best blessings God has for us only to find out that everything of the world is not for us. As a parent I believe the father knew by giving his son the money in advance that things would not turn out like the Prodigal Son may have thought. As parents sometimes we have to let our children learn lessons the hard way which I believe this is why the father distributed the inheritance early. Likewise, our heavenly father knows that sometimes it takes a storm to get us on track. It takes for us to go into a world wind of confusion or to get knocked down in life for some of us to align with the plans God has for us.
In our focus scripture today, Luke 15:17, we find that the Prodigal Son “came to his senses”. After his rock bottom experience he realized he was starving to death in a foreign country, but in familiar territory his father had all that he needed. At his father’s house there was plenty of food and servants to serve the food. The Prodigal Son came to his senses and went back to where he was supposed to be. The parable teaches us that the father represents God and when we return to God He is a God of second chances. When we return to the father he loves us unconditionally and will still provide everything we need regardless of our faults. He is a forgiving God and only want’s what is best for His children.
The old saying is true “you miss a good thing once it’s gone.” In order for us to come to a place of common sense in our rock bottom experience we have to truly surrender to God and to His will for our lives. We must stay connected to our Lord and savior and rely on his plans for our life and not our plans. Often times circumstances seem strange to us and plans do not unfold as we desire them to, but God’s ways are higher than our ways and God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8) When we find ourselves in a place of uncertainty and not knowing what the future holds it’s important to seek God for the wisdom, knowledge, and guidance we need for us to make choices that would lead us to the Jeremiah 29:11 promises he has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us.
The beauty to the ending of the parable is before the Prodigal Son made it home his father spotted him from a distance and welcomed him back with loving arms and a celebration. The father immediately called out to the servants to bring a ring, a robe, sandals, and a fatted calf for his son. He already had everything waiting on his sons return before the son made it to the door step.
Our heavenly father is so awesome! We’ve all made mistakes and poor decisions in our life. We’ve found ourselves in a place of void knowing that surely God has more for us than where we are at right now. We may have disappointed and hurt some people as a result of our actions. God is so awesome that he is confident we will come to our senses. He already has everything we need and He is just waiting for us to return to where we are supposed to be. Today if you find yourself like Dwayne Wayne or the Prodigal Son, then I challenge you to seek God in your quiet time for clarity and direction so that you too can return to your destiny that is waiting for you and already prepared. Be blessed and be encouraged.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for loving us unconditionally. We thank you that you are a forgiving God and a God of another chance. Father, forgive us for the times we’ve gone astray from the plans you had for our lives. Forgive us when we made poor decisions in our places of uncertainty. Forgive us for hurting people in the process of our mess. There may be some people we have to apologize to. Give us the strength to apologize and soften the hearts for those individuals to forgive us. Lord, some of us recognize that we are in rock bottom circumstances right now. We recognize that surely you have more in store for us then this. We recognize there may be people we hurt in the process of our own mess and mishaps. Father we come asking you today for second chances and for you to return us to those places and/or people you desire us to be. Father as we surrender to you today and to your will we pray that the presence of your spirit would hover over us in a powerful way. Lord send forth the spirit of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and counsel that we may know exactly where we are to be and what we are to do. Give us the strength and obedience to follow the plans you have for us and to walk away from our plans that do not line up with your will. Lord we know that whatever you have in store for us is better than anything we could try to do on our own. Help us just to trust you with our future knowing that your ways are always what’s best. We know that you are all powerful and nothing is too difficult for you to repair. We thank you that you are a God of restoration and ask that you would fix every area of our life that we have messed up. Thank you in advance and we ask these things in your precious son Jesus name. Amen.
~Written by Felicia McKnight~
P.S. As I was writing this Feevotional the song, “For Your Glory” by Tasha Cobbs truly ministered to my heart and I pray it will bless you as well. Click here to listen.