Radical Love: Why the pigpen isn’t for you.
Have you ever experienced radical love? You know, the kind of love that you feel completely unqualified, undeserving and totally embarrassed to receive?
Cannot recall a time you received a radical love like that? I’ll tell you why you haven’t. It’s because you are still sitting in the pigpen. You’re looking at those bean pods you’re dishing out to those pigs and you’re thinking, “Well, I’ve just got myself to blame for being in this mess.”
Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is for sure, the pig pen isn’t for you.
In Luke Chapter 15 Jesus tells a story. The story is called, The Prodigal Son. It’s about a man who had two sons. The younger son asks for his inheritance, which the father gives him. Before the Father has had time to catch his breath, the son has phoned for a cab to take him to the city, packed his bags, and announces that he’s leaving home.
Cashed up and ready for a good time, the son ticks off everything he’d written on his bucket list. Spending the inheritance that his father gave to him as though it’s going out of style. But after living a lavish lifestyle for a while the money eventually runs out.
He finds himself sitting in a pigpen, feeding pigs.
You know exactly how he feels because you’re sitting alongside him. You’re so desperate for something to eat. So much so, even the bean pods the pigs are snuffling look good enough to you. You’re starving to death. Not physically, spiritually.
Like the young prodigal, you tell yourself that you’re no longer worthy to be called son or daughter. Starved from God’s love for so long that you’re scared to come back. Self-talk becomes so loud in your head. “It’s my own fault that I’m in this pigpen. I made all those stupid decisions and hung around those loser friends of mine.”
Two words: Radical Love.
In verse 20 it says,“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him.”
Know this. When you’re still a “long way off” from getting yourself back on track, your Heavenly Fathersees you. God sees you when you think you’ve blown it, stuffed up or sabotaged your future. He looks for you when you’ve squandered your inheritance and spent it on people who don’t appreciate you. Telling you that all you’re good for is a pig pen.
You see, He’s been waiting for you every day to come home again, my friend. He wants to embrace you with His radical, life-giving, love. He doesn’t need a well-worded three-part speech from you, telling Him what you’ve done. You’re forgiven.
It’s time to leave your impoverished thinking in the pigpen. He’s waiting at the gate with a robe and a ring just for you. He’s ready to throw a party, and you’re the guest of honour because you’ve returned! You don’t need to clean yourself up before you reach out to God. He’ll embrace you even when you smell of bean pods and pigs. Because His radical love makes you clean again.
The pigpen isn’t for you. But God’s radical love? Well, that’s yours forever.