When a Child Runs Away
By Robin Jones
But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. Luke 15:32 NIV
It wasn’t fair that her daughter ran away and didn’t come back for five years.
Every day between Day 1 and Day 1,825 the mother mulled over in her mind, “It’s not fair! Why is this happening?”
It wasn’t fair that her daughter had to walk through the same desert the mother had already been through. It wasn’t fair that the mother’s past sins were thrown up in her face through her daughter’s actions.
And… most of all… it was not fair that the mother could not prevent it.
As the years elapsed, the daughter’s situation got uglier and bleaker. Days stretched into weeks and weeks into months. This turned into years of the mother uncomfortably waiting in the dark. The mother ran ahead to shorten her daughter’s walk in the desert. However, no amount of woman-made-premature rescuing would do. In fact, it made the mess bigger and more unjust.
The mother lashed out in angry prayer, “Lord, why aren’t you turning her back? Why aren’t you answering my prayer?” The Lord whispered into her heart, “I am, but you keep getting in the way. I am your child’s Savior, not you.”
Pierced, the woman got out of God’s way and waited. She turned away the enemy’s whispers of injustice. She warred in prayer constantly, hopefully, and tearfully. She pled, “Thy will be done, Lord.”
Five years of a mother praying… “Lord, bring her back to You.”
Five years of the quiet and not-so-quiet desolation of a mother’s heart pleading… “Why is she doing this? Doesn’t she see our arms wide open, Lord?”
Five years death-gripping the hope offered in the story of the Prodigal… “Lord when You bring her back, I will celebrate too.”
In the days of darkness, God would remind the mother of the time before the journey started that her daughter would have to learn like she did.
Then on Day 1,825 of walking by faith, not sight… the daughter came back to God and through her mother’s door.
Sweet friend, have you seen your prodigal come home? Or are you still waiting? Or did you just witness the door slam as they left?
Whatever mile marker you are at on this arduous hike… HOLD. ON. TO. THIS. HOPE.
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 15:20b NIV
Nothing is too hard for God. No one is too far for Him to reach. He calls our runaways to Himself, not us.
H – Hold on to His hope. God called you. He is faithful. He will call your child back too. Hold on to Christ the hope of glory.
O – Offer your child back to God. Your kid is God’s kid first. He cares more intimately for your child than you do. He knows exactly what it will take to turn your child back to Him. Trust Him to do it. Ask Him to help you relinquish control of the situation to Him and to help you with your unbelief.
P – Pray unceasingly and unselfishly for God’s will to be done and for your child to return. Pray even when it is hard. If all you can get out, in your frustration and exhaustion, is “Jesus, help” that is fine. Ask the prayer warriors in your life to intercede on your child’s behalf.
E – Eyes. Keep your eyes focused on the cross of Christ. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. Christ can do all things. With man (mom) it is impossible, but with Christ nothing is impossible. Pray for your child to seek out God.
Lord, You are the hope of glory. You are the only hope that is worthwhile. Papa, help us to trust You with our children and their choices. Help all of the mammas in this place of brokenness to H.O.P.E. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2021 by Robin Jones. All rights reserved.
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