And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
A focused pursuit to satisfy the flesh only leaves us wanting. The storehouses will run out. The crops will fail. And we’ll be left empty and destitute and yet still unsatisfied. We will not have accumulated anything substantial to rely on in those desperate times. We’ll have to try to fend for ourselves in our own strength with no resources and end up somewhere we really don’t want to be. There will be no one to stand by us and help us. Our happiness will turn to misery.
This man called the prodigal son did not appreciate the value of what he had. He had squandered all he had, spent it foolishly, lived in the moment and only for himself. So many people today try to live that same way. They want to feel good right now, unable to comprehend that once that moment is over, there are consequences. Those things and those moments don’t last forever, and then they have nothing to hold on to, and they hardly mean anything at all once they are gone. A life built on these selfish pursuits will leave us hungry and alone.
But in this desperate state, we face another choice—to slide further down the path of sin or to return to our senses. It takes some humility to get up out of a pigpen and go home intending to be a servant. It takes some wisdom to realize that things weren’t so bad before, living a life of obedience and hard work. It takes some inner strength and fortitude to go back to the father whose money was wasted and face up to the consequences. But these are the hopeful signs of repentance and the necessary steps of restoration.
Let us forsake this kind of self-seeking lifestyle and the idea that we are owed something and can do with it as we please. The best kind of life is one lived seeking to satisfy God instead of the flesh, one seeking to give and not gain, one that thinks of others first. If there’s anything at all we’ve gone off to pursue far away from God, let us turn back right now and go home. Let us forsake anything that will only leave us wanting and instead find our satisfaction in a life lived in careful obedience. And let’s not waste what we have foolishly, but be wise stewards of the blessings bestowed upon us.