But when he came to himself, he said… “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.’” – Luke 15:17a,18
He had been a prince in his father’s house but now he is a peasant, barely surviving in a pigpen. He’s on the road to destruction. There is only one exit ramp off this road. It is called repentance.
For Little Brother, repentance began “when he came to himself.” It began when he came to his senses. One day, it dawned on him, “I got myself here, but I don’t have to stay here. I have a home and a Father to go to. There I will have plenty to eat.”
Two things keep us in prisons of our own making: pride and shame. Pride says, “I’d rather starve among pigs than admit I was wrong and grovel for mercy”. Shame says, “How can I show my face after what I did?”
Repentance, however, says, “I will arise and go to my father.” This is faith in the loving and merciful heart of his father. Repentance says, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants”. This is humility. Little Brother knows he has wronged his father and it grieves him. He knows he doesn’t deserve mercy. He will be grateful with the crumbs of his father’s grace.
Are you stuck in a prison of your own making? Are pride and shame keeping you there? Will you use the exit ramp of repentance to reconcile with your Father and others?
Suggestions for prayer
Thank God for the way His Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see our sin and our Savior. Pray for the gift of repentance.
Rev. Richard Zekveld is the pastor of the Covenant Fellowship Church (PCA) in South Holland, Illinois, a Chicagoland suburb. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.