“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger!” —Luke 15:17
Forgetting happens. On occasion we forget our keys, we forget passcodes and even important dates. We forget seemingly trivial things on a day to day basis, and we aren’t really phased about it because we know that it has happened before, and will likely continue to happen. They are inevitable, really. We still get by though. Our forgetfulness of these small things does not stop the flow of life as we know it. We adapt and keep going.
But what happens when life is interrupted and we have a hard time adjusting to the irregular pattern that is now before us? When everything around us makes no sense, when we can sense an urgency, but can’t locate the source. We are in a place that is familiar and bizarre all at once; we are strangers to our very selves. When for the life of us, we can’t remember how we even got to where we are now. We can’t remember who we even are. It becomes harder and harder to move past and keep going.
The parable of the son who ran off and squandered his father’s fortune (Luke 15: 11-31) is so relatable, is it not? How many of us have been given an abundance of riches (invaluable friendships, heartfelt yet solid advice, unselfish and fire-tested love from a spouse or a friend) just to let it wither and die? Maybe we didn’t do it intentionally, we just forgot to conserve it. We forgot that it takes great care to cultivate something both beautiful and lasting. We forgot, and we kept going.
Maybe you are standing in a place where you have forgotten your beginnings. You are making due with what comes your way, and you are getting by on the scraps you are finding along the way. God wants you to be reminded, in the middle of your spiritual amnesia, that you still know your way. He wants to spark the memory of your heart, that will trigger your mind to remember Him.
God knows that we will forget from time to time. These temporary lapses in judgment were expected, and so He lovingly built them into His plan for us. Because he is a God of stability, and order. Because he gave us sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) that is perfectly capable of renewing itself and aligning to His will. God pursues us. He has loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) that calls us back to Him, over and over again.
This is what it means when the parable describes that the son “came to himself…”
How lovely to know that we are enough when God dwells in us. That we can return to ourselves, that through the door of grace, we can return to God and enjoy the abundance of grace that He wants to give us, in exchange for our troubles.
If this is you today: please calm yourself for a moment, grab hold of your God-given bearings. It’s ok. You just forgot who you are.
Writer, His Heart Devotionals