“…But when (the prodigal son) had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.’ And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him…” (Lk 15: 14-20)
What a blessing is this “famine” experienced by the son who wandered off from his Father’s home! It is God’s tap on the shoulder, this feeling of “running on empty.” And the good news is, I can always “return,” because my Father is willing to “run,” not just walk, to meet me, clothe me, quench my thirst, and feed my famished heart.
Let me be grateful today for the blessing of the hole in my heart; for the emptiness and, indeed, “famine” God sends me whenever I wander off and chase yearnings or ambitions outside His house. I need not escape the yearning any longer, nor enslave myself to any “citizen” of the far-away country of my choice. Today let me embrace God’s choice for me, His own home, and come back. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness," he says to me today, "for they shall be satisfied.” (Mt 5: 6)