Loving a Prodigal: Weary in the Waiting
This is the fifth 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,
Weary of the pain. The surprises. The expense. The disappointment. The late-night calls. The fear.
Weary in the waiting.
Sometimes it is challenging to follow through with this exhortation:
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
Doing good? Are we? Surely the loving, the disciplining, the grace giving, the exhorting, the praying—these are good. Yet sometimes the hoped for, prayed for, begged for good changes never seem to come.But wait. Is there good in the waiting? God seems to say so. Let these many words on waiting sink in:
Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. (Psalm 38:15)
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:25)
(We wait patiently?)
For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. (Romans 8:19) (Even creation is waiting.)
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5)
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. (James 5:7)
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. (Isaiah 64:4)
For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. (Habakkuk 2:2)
Think of those throughout Scripture who waited, such as Abraham for a child; Joseph to get out of prison; Moses in the desert; the children of Israel in the desert, in captivity, for a word from God, for the Messiah; Simeon and Anna to see Jesus; the disciples for the Holy Spirit; plus many more, as mentioned in the "hall of faith" in Hebrews 11.
And God waits. He has waited through all the prodigalness of His children. He waited for just the right time to send His Son in the incarnation and now waits for right time to send Him again. And He waits for each of us and each of our loved ones to surrender, to accept, to return, to trust….So we wait.
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! (Isaiah 30:18)
In His Time,
What about you? Where do you see good in the waiting?
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.