This is another in a series of letters to those who have prodigals in their lives. This is part 9 of the REST theme for this year’s Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals on June 2.
We said yes. We adopted our foster child. And there was rest in that obedience. (See Rest in Obedience)
Hope came: Surely now that he had the security of truly being a part of our family, he would believe we loved him. Perhaps he would connect with us, settle down, experience peace.
Then despair: Middle school was a disaster. Teachers couldn’t teach with him in the room, so he lived mostly in alternative classrooms. Disruptions on the school bus, so he was banned. He was older and bigger than his classmates, which gave bully status. He joined a gang. The principal threatened expulsion. It didn’t get better: it got worse.
Hope again: Desperate for help, we put him in a Christian residential program. He was safe from his bad choices. He came to Christ. He learned Scripture. He got counseling. He came out determined to walk with God.
Despair again: That is, until he got back with his old friends. Driver’s license, skipping school, girls, drugs, alcohol.
An ongoing cycle of hope and despair. I know you have been there.
Our natural response: I give up. No hope. Nothing makes a difference. He will never change. I can’t do this anymore.
Others say: Hang in there. Don’t give up.
Hanging on is exhausting.
God says, “Persevere.”:
…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.(Hebrews 12:1-3)
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36)
There is rest in persevering.
God completely “hangs in there” with us—strengthening our grip, enabling us to endure, filling us with hope, covering us with grace, flooding us with peace.
We’re almost there. Just 14 days until we are on our knees together, boldly entering into God’s presence on behalf of our loved ones. The list is is growing daily. Be sure to let those you know who are in the throes of prodigaldom how they can be blessed.
If you want to pray with others, invite a few to join you. Let your church know about it. Anyone in the Orlando area is welcome to join us at our house 7-9 p.m. on June 2. Let me know if you want to come.
I pray you are experiencing more and more of the supernatural rest of God. And that your peace is evident to the one(s) you pray for, if you see them.
Don’t grow weary in well doing,
For more info on the June 2 Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals, write to prayerforprodigalsatgmaildotcom.