You may feel hopeless, or insecure, or in pain. It's not a bad place to be. God likes to work against the odds—He likes to use the weak and the underdogs to confound the strong. This is always something to keep in mind when things seem hopeless and when you feel like you don’t have what it takes—that’s exactly the kind of person and situation God is always looking for.
The parable is called “The Prodigal Son.” Prodigal isn’t a word we use much anymore—it means “spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant.” The younger son is definitely the prodigal son. It could also be called the prodigal father, though—accepting the lost son back home, the best robe, the gold ring, the fatted calf—that all seems pretty extravagant, too. But the world isn’t full of Prodigal Fathers, it’s full of sons who grew up to be ManBoys.
Jesus spent a lot of time hanging out with the wrong kind of people, partying with sinners, eating and drinking with the kind of bad company that good people shouldn’t associate with. Are Christians more known for eating and drinking with sinners? Or for standing off to the side casting judgement on people? I think most of the modern church doesn’t get what we’re supposed to be doing.
We can deal with just about anything if we have hope.