“When he came to his senses…”
— Luke 15:17
From the reading of the story, it is clear that the younger son in Luke 15 had a good father. The son really had everything he needed. But, for whatever reason, he did not respect or appreciate what he had. He wanted more. He wanted everything he had coming to him — now. So the son set in place the first of his three plans we see in scripture.
Plan A: Get my money now and live.
That did not go well. Not long afterwards, he was financially ruined. So the son needed another plan.
Plan B: Get a job and work.
However, the only job he could find during this time of famine was feeding and eating with pigs. He really needed another plan.
Plan C: Beg my father to let me come home and be one of the servants, since I am no longer worthy to be a son.
But the father also had a plan.
The father’s was by far the best plan. He ran and kissed his son, and welcomed him home. In fact, he threw a big party for this son who had been lost, but who now had come home. The father welcomed the son home as a valued member of the family.
Now, we can throw a lot of stones at this younger son. I guess, in many ways, he would deserve those stones. But he did do one thing right. He went home. He was smart enough to finally look around and ask himself, “What I am doing here?”
He could have seen what he needed to do, but not take action on it. He could have decided that he was too embarrassed to go home and see his father. His shame and guilt could have tied him to an entire life of living in what the scripture calls a distant country. What a sad ending to the story that would have been.
But he did go home, and he found his loving father waiting for him. The younger son did not get what he deserved, but what the father wanted him to have.
That is the good news of the gospel. Are you in a distant land right now? Do you sense you do not belong there? Go home. You will find our Heavenly Father waiting for you. He will be glad upon your arrival. His plan for your life is the best.