Loving a Prodigal: In Its Time
This is the first 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.
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
Just over a year ago I wrote a letter to you that began like this:
It’s the waiting, isn’t it?
Will it ever end? Will change ever come? Will the pain, confusion, fear, anger, despair ever end?
During the dozen plus years it took our son to turn from his bad choices, we waited. On our knees. With tears. Clinging to Jesus.
In the past few years, things are much better. He is not making the terrible choices he did for so long. I don’t call him a prodigal now. He has become responsible and hardworking. We have a great relationship. There is trust. But still we wait....And in that year?
It’s been very challenging. His marriage fell apart. In his despair, he returned to old patterns, made choices of the past. A brief reunion with his wife crashed and he went into deep depression.
And I have said, many times: I thought it was time! Isn’t it time, Lord? Are we doing this again? How long, Lord?
I know you understand.We all know the truths of Scripture. We know God is bigger than time:
Moses: A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. (Psalm 90:4)
David: But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands…. (Psalm 31:14-15)
Isaiah: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8)
But many times, many days, even many years, we struggle to accept, act on, live by, rest in—BELIEVE—these truths. It seems too hard, too long, too uncertain. How long, Lord? Will it ever end?
But these truths are true. They are reality. And that is what we will look at, delve into, listen for: God’s perspective on time—for our prodigals, for us, for the Kingdom, for eternity.
One verse has especially sustained me over these years: “I am the Lord. In its time I will do this swiftly.” (Isaiah 60:22b)
Consider what the Lord is saying to us through these words to the children of Israel just before their return from 70 years of captivity.
“I am the Lord.” Such a needed reminder for me.You’ve seen the sayings—from God--online: “I am God and you are not” with several variations.
Sure, I have many good ideas, plans, schedules for how things should play for my life—and for my loved one. God reminds me who is in control.
“In its time…” I so want “its time” to be now, to be “my time.” It never is.
“I…” This “I” of course is God, not I.
“will do this…” We cannot make it happen. But He can and will.
“swiftly…” I love that. Soon. Now. No more waiting. But the swiftness is not “in my time” but in “its (God-ordained) time.”
As I have been in the Word, asking God what He wants to say to us about Time to prepare us for our June 2 day of prayer, I have looked at time, days and years, today and tomorrow, and waiting. Oh how rich. How great God is—how puny I am. How intentional God is—all in love and with grace.
Our theme verse will be: “I am the Lord. In its time I will do this swiftly.”
Pray with me that we will let God speak to us, teach us, change us and prepare us to come into His throne room with humility and power and effectiveness.
What about you? What are you waiting for the Lord to do?
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.