And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he 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. – Luke 15:13-16.

A German medical worker, while assisting patients on an ambulance, was found to be robbing helpless patients on their way to the hospital. Several patients did report items being stolen, and all of the thefts occurred on one 21-year-old man’s shift. A trap was set for the man, and he was caught, and arrested. The man did confess to stealing from six patients, and according to a Munich Police spokesperson, “He said that he was short of money.”

How did the ambulance robber, and the prodigal son, arrive at their pathetic situations? It was a gradual process. It may have been one key event that triggered the downward spiral, but once triggered, the spiral was more and more down into the morass of rebellion against God.

Several words are used to describe the word “pathetic” in the dictionary: affecting, distressing, emotional, emotive, heartbreaking, heart-rending, lamentable, moving, piteous, pitiable, pitiful, plaintive, poignant, sad, stirring, touching, tragic. The words that best describe for me, the ambulance robber and the prodigal son are “pitiful, sad, and tragic.” Their situation is pitiful, sad, and tragic because it didn’t have to be that way. Instead of being in a downward spiral they could have been in an upward spiral. We know the prodigal son eventually came to his senses and returned home to his father with a humble spirit. I pray the ambulance robber may someday come to his senses, as well.

Are you in a pathetic condition or situation? God is the answer to whatever that condition or situation may be. Will you come to your senses and realize that you need God? Will you come to your senses and take advantage of the resources of God? So many people whine that God did this or did that to them or that God won’t do this or that. However, so many times those people are the ones who hardly ever go to church, or open up the Bible to read and study it, or spend more than a very few moments in prayer. If we will return to our Father, spend time with Him, and serve Him; we will find that instead of a downward spiral we are in an upward spiral.

(When we are in difficult situations we always have a choice. We can turn to God, or turn away from God, in those trying times.)

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