“And when he had come to his senses….”
I read this verse today and it hit me right in the face. This line is in the story of the prodigal son. After insisting on his inheritance before his dad even died, he ran through the money and was in the pigsty, coveting the food given to pigs. Not a great destination for a Jewish man.
“And when he had come to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s servants have food to spare, and here I am starving!’ ”
He knew what care his father took of his servants. In that moment of clarity, he decided that to be a servant in his father’s household would be a better reality than his present circumstances. “He came to his senses.”
Each of us, like the prodigal, must “come to our senses.” We acknowledge that we are
- at the end of our rope,
- the end of our resources,
- the end of our ingenuity,
- the end of solutions that we can provide for ourselves.
We can’t think our way out
We can’t act our way out.
We can’t talk our way out.
We can’t bargain our way out.
tBut coming to your senses is not as easy as it sounds. We often don’t see the pigsty. We don’t recognize our own hunger, thirst, or need.
“You were wearied in all your ways, yet you would not say it was hopeless…”
This haunting verse was the pattern for Israel. Despite warnings, repeated warnings from the Lord, they continued in their own ways, looking to anyone or anything other than the Lord to give relief. This is the heart of the self-life. And we all have it.
God offers us something different, something weightless, something refreshing – life itself. The invitation of God stands throughout Scripture, and He repeats it in any number of ways.
What Jesus offers is that cold drink of living water that the Samaritan woman found so appealing. “Tell me where is this water.” Like the prodigal, she recognized her physical need first, only to find that Jesus was offering much more- love, acceptance, forgiveness. Recognizing spiritual thirst is a gift.
Perceiving our spiritual poverty is a blessed thing. In other words, God blesses those who see that they are in the pigsty. From that place of need, we all, like prodigals, come to our senses.
What tells you that you’re thirsty for more than water? What helps you “come to your senses”?