July 29 I Monday
“But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” —Romans 5:20-21
What happens when we are at the lowest point of our life? In Jesus’s Parable of the Prodigal Son, we read of a son who demanded from his father his share of the inheritance and squandered it in reckless living. Left without a penny in his pocket, and out of desperation, the son takes up a job feeding pigs.
According to the Law of Moses, pigs are considered unclean. In fact, if we were to visit Israel today, there is a law that makes it illegal for the foot of pigs to touch Israeli soil. We see the degradation of the son, a Jewish boy, who, at the lowest point of his life, is in a pig pen. He was so hungry that he would have eaten the food the pigs were being fed but no one gave him anything.
But then, something happened to the son. It was something that could only happen once he was in the pig pen and not while he was living it up. We are told, “he came to his senses…” (Luke 15:17). We rarely come to ourselves when we are in comfort. It is only when we are in trouble that we truly find our real selves.
God will wait a long time for people to come to themselves. That is why God lets us go and does not stop us. In the parable, when the son asked his father for his inheritance, the father let him go. One of the most frightening things the New Testament teaches about the wrath of God is that He shows it by saying, “I will let you go. I will hand you over.” The Book of Romans tells us, “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts...” (Romans 1:24).
God’s wrath is shown by letting people go until they find themselves up to their neck in sin, wallowing in a pig pen, because that is when He can get their attention. Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more because that is where we run out of ourselves. When we are alone in a pig pen, there is no person to impress. We can be honest with ourselves. This is what happened to the son when he came to his senses. He saw himself for who he really was—a sinner.
Some of us may have wandered away from God but it is never too late for us to come to our senses in our pig pen and return home to be with the Father. May our hearts turn from our sinful desires and walk in a manner worthy of God’s call for us.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You that You do not abandon me but that Your grace is enough to cover all my sins. Praise You, God.