I was reminded today about pigpens. A question I have to ask myself is "What does my pigpen look like?" We all have them don't we. We wallow around looking for peace and happiness in things. Some pigpens are quite palatial. They can have three bedrooms two baths. They can have all the toys, the nicest accessories, the best beds but if God is not there it is just another pigpen. It is just another way to numb our pain. Isn't that what it is all about. It is for me. How can I avoid feeling the pain? New house, new car, new TV, new drug, the list just goes on and on. So, what do we have to do to get out? Only one way - cry out to God.

That is exactly what the prodigal son did -  “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’  So he got up and went to his father." But Satan is so tricky he makes us believe that the Father does not want us or he gets us to believe it is just too good where we are living. Of course that is all just a bunch of lies. That path will lead us to destruction. So, what next. 

When we come to our senses we don't always see things right.  "I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants." I could not see myself as a son when I was wallowing. I did not have any self worth. I was lost in my pigpen of people pleasing - doing my best to get approval from every source but God. I came to my senses but I still had to get my worth right. There are two buts in the story - “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." - “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate." There in those statements are the truth of the matter. No matter how I feel my Father loves me so much he does not care about where I have been only that I have come home. I still have a lot of trouble believing that to be true but I am getting better at it.

Would you like to get out of your pigpen? Well, come home to God your Father. He will welcome you just like he did the prodigal. I know it is hard to believe it but it is true. For me I found the help I needed at Celebrate Recovery. It was there that I felt at home. There was no one judging me for where I had been or where I was at when I came. All I found was love and acceptance. Why don't you try it? What have you got to lose - a pigpen lifestyle? Yep, we all live in them. We bath and try to get the mud, the slop and stink off of us but it does not work until you let Jesus wash you in his blood. Come and meet the one person who can help, Jesus. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Come lay down your burden Friday nights at 6 PM.