“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.” (Luke 15:20, NKJV)
Life is filled with swift transitions, isn’t it? Events take place that put us on our heels … and sometimes down on our knees.
There are few things that are more heart-wrenching… deeper wounds to our hearts than that of being a child of God and watching a son or daughter walk away from the Lord.
For parents, grandparents, siblings, other family members, and friends … to see one turn their back on all of them, but especially on the Lord Himself … is so painful that it is really difficult to put into words.
Over the years I have met with fathers and mothers … I’ve met with children whose parents became prodigals … and I’ve wept with them … prayed with them … encouraged them in every way possible. But the pain and the heartache want to linger … and sometimes press forward in our thoughts and can be so difficult to get past.
I must confess … that my wife and I along with our family have experienced the pain, the agony, the questions of self and did we do all that we could do or could we have done something differently … as we have watched a family member walk away from the Lord … and walk away from us!
Like the father in the parable of the prodigal son spoken by Jesus in Luke 15:11-32 … I have looked anxiously down the road as he must have done every day without fail. Hoping, praying, longing to see my loved one’s image still a long way from home … and dreaming of the moment when … it’s them, they’re coming this way … they’re coming home.
And I must tell you that in that reoccurring dream … this old guy ran … yes, I mean ran down the road to meet them, embrace them, tell them I love them!
I pray that you will never have to experience this, but I also know of some who read this blog from week to week and know exactly what I am talking about.
There is so much about this experience that I just don’t understand … and ironically there is much that I do understand.
I know with certainty that our God knows what goes on in the heart and the mind of the prodigal.
I have learned that each child or adult sometimes rebels against God despite the best efforts of parents or spouses!
I know that God calls us in our role whatever it may be to stand firm in the faith. He calls us to put on our armor and be prepared to wage war with our adversary and all his minions on our family member’s behalf.
We are in a war for the souls of our spouse, our children, and our children’s children, and God the great Commander expects each of us to wield the weapons of our warfare with skill, tenacity, and a ‘don’t quit’ mentality! (Note 2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
And I know this to be true because Jesus Christ said it was so, that if our son or daughter, parent, etc. leaves the ninety-nine for the “lights of the far country” … or simply wanders away from the safety of the shepherd and the fold … “He will leave the ninety-nine and go after the lost one until He finds them.” (Luke 15:4)
And I also know that “when He has found them, He will joyfully and tenderly put them on His shoulders and head for home.” (Luke 15:5)
And so, as a grieving parent who knows how it feels … take heart my brother, my sister … God pursues your prodigal and mine … even now as you are reading this post.
Regardless of our loved ones’ choices and the deep emotional pain they have put on our hearts and lives, our God calls for each of us to come near to Him and remain persistent in our praying, and faithful in service to Him!
We must choose to keep marching forward each day, drawing with each step taken more closely to eternity with Him. And as we continue … we can still be scanning the horizon … looking at every text … hoping each time the phone rings … and every time there is a knock on the door … that our prodigal has come home!
NEVER GIVE UP! NEVER GIVE IN! Because … our prodigal is not bigger than our God! Please, come home, we are waiting for you!
“And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.