This morning my Bible reading took me to Luke chapter 15 which tells the story of the Prodigal Son. For those of you who aren't familiar with this story, it's a parable Jesus tells about a young man who takes his inheritance and heads off to experience some of what he thinks are the finer things of life. From his actions we can see that he believed nice clothes, fine food, and big parties would bring him happiness. But when he runs out of money, he quickly finds himself living in the gutter without friends or the happiness he had been seeking. It's at this point he decides to return home to be reconciled with his father.
It's a wonderful story with many different applications for us, but the part that caught my attention today was the description of how his father responded to his return. Listen to how it's described in Luke 15:22-24, which says, "His father said to the servants, 'Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.' So the party began."
As I read this passage today it occurred to me that everything the Prodigal Son had been looking for when he left home was given to him when he returned. His father gave him nice clothes, fine food, and a big party - all things he had left home to find. So by coming home he realized that everything he desired in life could be found in a relationship with his father. And what was true for the Prodigal, is true for us in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Everything we need in life to be truly happy, everything that we need for true fulfillment, can be found in a relationship with God the Father.
The problem is that all too often we're like the Prodigal - looking outside of our relationship with God for happiness and fulfillment. Some of us try to find it in our work, while others try to find it in our relationships, and others of us try to find it in our money and possessions. But what the Prodigal reminds us is that we don't have to look any farther than our own Heavenly Father to find all that we need. 2 Corinthians 9:8 makes this clear as it tells us, “God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” So not only will God provide all we need, but He will do so with such abundance that it will overflow onto others. And notice I didn't say “all we want” - it's all we need. God will lovingly provide for us according to what we need, and what others need, which is perfect because He knows best what those needs truly are.
So today, let's ask God to help us not look any farther than Him for our needs. Whatever we're lacking - whether it's regarding our finances, or our emotional, spiritual, or physical needs - let's ask God to help us trust in His ability to provide. Let's allow Him to truly be our Father, providing in abundance all that we need.