Loving a Prodigal: You’re in Big Trouble
This is the eighth in a weekly series of mini-devotionals on TIME, which is the theme of the 2013 June 2 Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals. This letter goes to the members of the Prayer for Prodigals community.
“In the world you will have trouble….”
That is not one of my favorite statements from Jesus. But we know it’s true.
Everyone will have trouble in this world. For some it is mostly inconvenient, or a little uncomfortable. For others it consumes their entire life—just trying to exist and provide.
For some it is health concerns, for others financial woes, difficult relationships, hard losses…For those of us who love a prodigal, our troubles seem to revolve around that loved one who seems to choose trouble—and share it with us. And sometimes those troubles last a long time.
God has a lot to say about trouble.
He says to bring him all that trouble: “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:8)
He offers a safe place in the time of trouble: “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9:9)
He takes care of us when there is trouble: “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.…” (Nahum 1:7)
He tells us not to worry: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
And then He finishes what He started: “In the world you will have trouble, but I have overcome the world….” (John 16:33)
The result of His overcoming the world? “…I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.” (John 16:33)
So as I am writing this, I am getting to practice. Things are better lately. Communication seems open and—hopefully—honest. Choices are not catastrophic. But finances are still inadequate, the future is uncertain and God is not a priority. And today is troubling.I have poured out my heart to God. I have nestled down into that safe refuge. I have intentionally handed these troubles to Him. I am choosing to not worry about outcomes.
And I am trusting that His peace will be stronger than any troubles. At least some of the time I am trusting. It didn’t help that he dropped his phone in the ocean today and there were no answers, no responses to a couple of questions. Peace was a little spotty, but it came.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)
In His Time,
What about you? What trouble are you having? How could Jesus bring peace in that trouble?
C2013 Judy Douglass
If you would like more information, to request prayer for a prodigal, or to join our full-of-grace community, please write to prayerforprodigalsatgmaildotcom with your questions or names, or for an invitation.
June 2 is our Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals—just a few days from now!