Every few days, I like to scroll through my book and pick out a few paragraphs that really speak to me. Here’s what speaks to me this morning…
Chapter 6: Hurry Up and Find Rock Bottom
Hovering Over Rock Bottom In The Pigs Pen
Isn’t it sad and ironic to think about how much God loves us, and how we spend so much of our lives running and hiding from Him? Why do we muscle through our days in human strength, only turning to God when we have nowhere else to turn? Why do we make Him our last resort? Why?
We live in a time when anyone claiming a close relationship with God is shunned as a “religious fanatic.” This modern world makes it seem as if the only people who actually use the Bible as their guiding light are the Jesus freaks. It’s like we’re telling God to leave us alone so we can live as we see best, without having a responsibility to some heavenly Father. Take a look at the beautiful story Jesus used for describing this insanity:
To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money on wild living.
About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. [Tough love] …When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant”’” (Luke 15:11-19).
Can you see why this message was, and still is, such an important message from Jesus? Millions of people who have never heard about Jesus have heard His story of the Prodigal Son. I think it’s so popular because everyone has served time in the pig pen, haven’t we?
Of course, not everyone in the mud is perceptibly trudging around in some extreme state of human deprivation. There is a vast sea of prodigals who seem to have their lives together—living in nice homes, driving nice cars, and having nice careers—while the real truth is that they’re torn to pieces on the inside. No matter how successful we become in this world, nothing ever truly satisfies when our connection with the Father is broken.
Almost every day, I see people who are worn down with hard life in the pig pen. Some of them have spent so much time in the mire they’ve started to oink, grunt, and squeal at their own reflection. Their weather-beaten hides are bone dry and callus-covered—coarse, like sandpaper. They look thirty years older than they are. In a haze of misery, herds of these history-maker hopefuls drift into the wastelands with very little chance of return. They stopped liking themselves a long time ago; their dignity is shredded, and they feel like they have nothing and nobody to live for.
God forbid that you’re up to your neck in the slop right now, reduced to a fraction of the amazing person you once were or could be, gasping for your life under the unbearable consequences of a big series of wrong moves. I’ve seen this happen so many times to so many people. Nobody ever plans a trip to rock bottom. Everyone gets there while trying to go somewhere else.
The Turning Point
Once you’ve really been there, you will always remember rock bottom as the Eden of your re-creation! Even though right now you may be gasping for air, only a few seconds from flat lining your way into eternity, rock bottom is a wormhole in the core of hell that transports the dead back into the land of the living.
While rock bottom will always be the low mark of your life, it is so much more—rock bottom is the starting location for your next exciting journey. So no matter how bad things might be going in your life right now, go ahead and free your heart to hope again! This moment is the end of your life as it has been to this point, but it need not be the end of you. Change your perspective! Be optimistic about all the suffering you’re going through, for this can be the start of something wonderful—it can be all upward from here, if you just do the right thing at rock bottom.
In my own life, I’ve been shocked with how fast God can shift the momentum back in my favor. It’s nothing for God to work a 24-hour miracle! It doesn’t matter how far down you’ve fallen; if you’re serious about returning home, this is the moment when God steps in like a superhero to the rescue. He’s been waiting for this moment all your life, and here it is! Father is livid with your enemies! He’s been anticipating the rock-bottom prayers you’re now praying. He’s never forced Himself on you before today, but if you’ll open your heart, He’ll rush in like a gale-force wind! Open the doors and windows as wide as possible—let the fresh, spring air in! This is a new season in your life!
Swooping down out of nowhere, it would seem, with His bare hands He will tear apart everything that has been making you cry. Stop trembling in fear! You’re safe now. You’ve come under the omnipotent protection of God. Just reach out and take your Father’s hand. Be still for a moment and let Him have a look at you. God specializes in fixing broken people and shattered circumstances. God is the restorer of broken dreams and the giver of new ones! No broken person is broken beyond repair. Every person is fixable! Yes, God can fix you!
I’m listing to the following video and praying specially for all those who are nearing rock bottom… for the first time or the hundredth time. I’m praying for your miracle, for your sudden rise from the ashes, and for your happily ever after.
With so much love,