Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals for October 8-9 are provided by Christine Li. Christine graduated from University of Pennsylvania and currently lives and works in New York City. She attends Remnant Church in Manhattan.
Devotional Thought for Today
“After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “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 knew college was supposed to be challenging, but one trouble I did not anticipate was that I would go broke one semester. It was my own foolishness– I had relinquished a work-study job, but I kept spending money. I knew this was a bad idea, yet I hoped I could scrape by and never tell my parents. Finally, one day when I had less than $20 left for weeks of school, I reached a crisis.
Completely distraught, I called home and admitted what situation I was in. While my parents made it clear that they found this completely irresponsible, what they were more concerned about was that I had felt the need to hide from them. “You shouldn’t have pretended everything was fine. You should have come to us sooner,” they rebuked me.
A couple things prevented me from openly going to my parents. I feared the humiliation of being known as irresponsible. I feared they would be angry, and I was too prideful to admit that I needed help. So, I tried to handle the difficulty by myself until I reached a point of desperation. Looking back, if I had had the sense to admit my troubles sooner, I could have received help and avoided all the angst.
Just like the prodigal son, don’t we also avoid going to God the Father at the first sign of trouble? Though the prodigal lacked no shame in asking for his inheritance, he kept himself from returning when he was in need, struggling on his own until he was completely stuck. We might feel ashamed for what we did, fearful that He will be angry, or stubbornly hope that we can handle it on our own. But, our delay only puts us in a worse-off condition than if we turned home sooner.
We all know the happy ending of this parable: the Father was quick to forgive and restore the son. Even if others have responded to our failings in negative ways, we can be encouraged that this will not be the Father’s response. He will eagerly respond to us with help, healing, and restoration. So, let’s not keep ourselves from Him. We do not have to needlessly struggle on our own when He is ready to restore us.
Prayer: Father, You are so gracious and gentle! But I always seem to forget, and that is why I do not go to You sooner. Help me to remember Your loving-kindness and that You are slow to anger and quick to forgive. Teach me to come to You eagerly and receive Your grace that heals and restores me.
 We are taking a break from the study of John (October 8-9).