Once a month I write a letter to the wonderful Prayer for Prodigals community I am part of. Often those letters, though specific to those who love a prodigal, apply to any or all of us in the challenging circumstances of life. I hope this letter on Fragile Hope will encourage you.
Dear Lover of Prodigals,
When you’ve been on this journey for a long time, you know that hope is fragile.We’ve had some wonderful, hopeful changes in some of those we have been praying for. Dena (my partner in Prayer for Prodigals) and I have both been rejoicing with good choices being made by our loved prodigals. Declarations of good intentions are being matched with positive steps toward a better future.
Cautiously we hope.In the past we might have been filled with hope, certain and grateful that this was the answer, the turn we have prayed and believed and hoped for. Only to see them crash again.
So now we hold on to this hope so gingerly, so loosely. Praying, pleading, “Please may this be real. May this be the time.”
Of course, we hope. We so desire for our prodigals to be free from their bondage—from addictions, from rebellion, from sin, from mental and emotional torment, from wrong friends and wrong choices. We pray. We know that God loves us and our loved ones. Waiting with hope is what we have. But if we can’t trust that hope, what do we have?
You know the answer. We have the Lord.I find it so easy to place my hope in change in attitudes and actions—and those are good. I can cling to hope that “this time” it is real, it will last, things will be different. My hope is in my prayers being answered the way I want, when I want. Or at least soon, or finally.
But our hope must be placed in something solid, dependable, unshakeable. Our loved prodigals will never qualify for that. Only God is solid, dependable, unshakeable.
“God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever…” (Hebrews 6:18-20)
“Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Peter 1:21)
I pray this blessing for each of us: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
With grace and hope,
What about you? Where have you discovered that hope is fragile?
C2013 Judy Douglass