Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
Tommy read a passage to me this morning. I, in turn, am passing it on to you:
"There are some people that because of their attitude and situation, can't be helped at the moment. I think of that story of the prodigal son, when that boy was down there in the far country. I think the father in some way knew where that boy was and what he was doing, but he never offered to help him. He couldn't. He let him go into the far country because for that moment there was nothing else he could do. He couldn't help the boy until he came back, and when he did, the help was available to him."
We meet people like this boy all the time under the bridge in Knoxville. Most of the people we encounter down there are in that far country. They tell us all the time that they want help and they don't like the lifestyle they are living, but they want someone else to do it for them. They want instant healing from whatever situation in which they find themselves.
When the prodigal son was down there wallowing with the pigs, his father didn't come and pull him out. He didn't say, "son, you shouldn't be wallowing in filth like that. I have a clean house for you to live in." I wonder how long the son would have stayed home if his Father had, indeed, come and pulled him out of that muck.
The son had to decide on his own that he did not want to live like this the rest of his life. I have a friend, Dawn, who used to live on the street. She has been off the street for over 10 years now. She has a home, a husband and a good job. She sought help at one of the rescue missions in town, and she told me she did not leave the mission for over a year. She carried her Bible everywhere with her, and was reading the Word of God continually. When she did leave the mission, she avoided the places where she used to hang out. The Lord honored this commitment and today she is quick to tell you what the Lord did for her. Her Daddy knew where she was, but he did not come and "rescue" her. She, with the help of the Lord, pulled herself out of the pigpen she was wallowing in.
If you know someone who is in a far country and is getting more and more stuck in the mud of the pigpen, the best thing you can do for that person is pray. Pray that one day he "comes to himself" and decides he will return to his Father.