Sunday, September 11, 2022

When A Child Wanders

 By: Paula Short

Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them." – Luke 15:11-12, NIV

He sat at the family's worn farmhouse table, with his head propped on his chin and elbows resting against the solid wood. He'd had trouble sleeping that night; it was a restless, tossing kind of night as he spent all night praying earnestly for answers. 

He was thinking about the farm; it had been in his family for generations. He was proud of his family legacy. He had hopes and dreams of passing it on to his two sons one day.

Until yesterday

His youngest son had just graduated from High School. The family threw a fun-filled graduation party for him. Soon after the party was over, his son asked him for his share of the farm. Stunned as he was, he looked at the streamers still hanging on the wall, cake dishes sitting in the sink, and ink drying on the boy's diploma.

Deep in thought.

He could say no. He'd wrestled sleeplessly with the idea into the wee hours of the morning. But his son had always had a stubborn streak; he was the kind of kid who had to learn things for himself.

Just then, his wife came into the kitchen in her fuzzy robe and joined him at the table; he sent her a worried glance. "What should I do?" he asked.

She put her hand on his; she could feel the calluses on his hand from hard work. "Let him go, she said. Perhaps the Lord will let him return to us in his time." 

So, he did. 

He then handed a check to his son. The loss he felt as he watched the car's tail lights disappear ran deep; he felt sad and mournful.

But still, he rose every morning to sit on the porch. He spent time in God's word and prayed. He waited what felt like lifetimes until the day he saw his boy's car pull into the driveway.

He was filled with joy; he cried and praised God for his boy's return.

Friend, I, too, am waiting for a child's return. My oldest disengaged me from her life six years ago. Her sister, my youngest, fills me in on how she is doing. 

When a child chooses to disengage and walk away. Sometimes, for whatever reason— we may never know. I'm here to tell you, dear friend, hold onto hope; just like the prodigal father's faith was rewarded, may God let yours be too. Remember also, it's his will that will be done— and in his time.

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20— NIV


Do you have a loved one who has wandered away?

Or, perhaps, you are that loved one who wandered away?

Sometimes it's hard to wait on God's timing, isn't it?

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