Palace or Pigsty?

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No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame.  (Psalm 25:3)

The prodigal son lived in a palace—a place where he received the unconditional love and forgiveness of his father—not only daily, but moment by moment. But when this younger son asked for his inheritance, he essentially exchanged his palace for a pigsty.

There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating. (Luke 15:11-16)

Do you look on this young man with pity . . . or perhaps even scorn? Take a look in the mirror; you and I do the very same thing every time we exchange our will for God’s will in our lives. In demanding his inheritance now, the prodigal son was refusing to be patient and follow the father’s timing. Oh, he had a time of carefree celebration, but that untroubled state did not last. It never does! He squandered all that he had been given and found himself eating the husks with the swine, longing to be back in his father’s presence.

Does that resonate with you as much as it does with me?

Look at it this way: The prodigal son already had his inheritance. It was his by birth, but it was not yet the right time for him to receive it. God not only knows exactly what we need, but exactly the right time to give it to us. But the sin of impatience got the best of the young son. Impatience starts as an infection and winds up a disease—an insidious disease—which will eventually leads us away from the palace and toward the pigsty.

It is not enough to want what God wants for our lives. We must wait to receive it in His timing. Often “right now” is not God’s perfect timing for our imperfect lives. The shepherd boy David waited seven years to receive what God wanted for his life—the king’s throne in Israel—and that was after he had been anointed three times to become king.

So let me ask you this question:

Where in your life right now are you giving in to impatience?

If this finds you on the other side of impatience that has put you into a pigsty, fear not. Cheer up! The younger son eventually made his way back from the pigsty to the palace, where he was met with the unchanging love and forgiveness of his father. Amazing grace, wouldn’t you agree? Even when we mess things up, God turns our mess into His masterpiece. As the psalmist said, “Those whose hope is in the Lord will never be put to shame.”

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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