And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
There is only one source to replenish what has been lost, what was wasted, what was spent on foolish living. The father has more than enough for all in his house. He has an abundance that can fill even the most empty. And when the prodigal son comes to this place of overwhelming lack and a total inability to meet that need in himself, he realizes he just has to go back home to find all that he needs. He realizes he doesn’t have to starve to death out there in the pigpen when there is an abundance at his father’s house.
Spending time in the world, that far country, drains us of everything. It takes and takes without any source to resupply what has been taken. And sometimes it takes getting to that desperate place for us to come to our senses and get up and go back to the Father, because in Him, there is a constant supply for every need. There is more than enough. There is fruitfulness and life and revival. There is yet love and mercy in our Father’s heart no matter where we may have ended up.
Wayward sons can go home. Wandering sheep can return to the fold. There is always a path back to our loving heavenly Father. When we’re thirsty, He offers us a drink. When we’re hungry, He invites us to dine. When we’re weary, He gives us rest. When we’re fearful, He gives us peace. When we’re confused, He gives us wisdom. When we fail, He gives us grace. And when we run out, He gives us more. It is a life of abundance that He promises to us as we dwell in Him.
The son in this parable was hoping for a little bit of the servants’ bread when he got back to his father’s house. But instead his father kills the fatted calf and gives him a feast. And we may go to God hoping for just the smallest thing to ease the hunger within, but God fills us up to overflowing instead. If we’ve wandered away, if we’ve done some foolish things, if we’ve wasted everything and just feel so empty, all we have to do is understand who to turn to, swallow our pride, and go back to our Father who will never let us down.