18 “I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. 19 I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.”’
My favorite TV Bible teacher, Joyce Meyer, points out that the prodigal son started his journey telling his father: “give me.” Now that he’s hungry, he decides to go home and ask his father: “Make me.” We nod and smile: Ahhh, what a humbled son, we think. But we tend to think the story has little to do with our lives; maybe our son’s lives, if we have a son, but not US. After all, we haven’t been hanging in a pig pen, right?
But is that the point? And how often do we find ourselves thinking: give me! Humility, we know, is the key to joy. Pride is never satisfied; humility is always satisfied. So wouldn’t it be nice if instead of having to be humbled, we could just be humble!? I’m not sure it’s possible, but I know we can pray for it. What would it take for us to be willing to ask God to “make us” into the person He created us to be? Sometimes, perhaps every time, it takes utter failure. Maybe we do have our own pig pens, after all. Once again, the very thing that crushes us becomes, in God’s mercy, the very thing that makes us. Perhaps we need new eyes to accompany new hearts.