Is There a Prodigal in Your Life?

Years ago when my youngest (troubled) son was in a locked facility to get help (he was an unhealthy hazard to himself and others), I was sharing my heart with Amy Shreve the night after a concert here in I-Falls.  I was so grieved for this son who has had problems since fighting me in the womb!  It is true!  Too many heartaches and broken promises that he would straighten up go right which all never amounted to success.  This mother’s heart hurt so badly to see him fail time and time again.  Not to mention the stress it put on my marriage.  How easy it can be to place blame!  It’s my fault, the father’s fault, the stepfather’s fault, everybody else’s fault but no owning up to their own.  Now living the dysfunctional life I have lived has only helped me take on unnecessary blame for a whole host of things that were only partially my fault as I truly was doing the best I knew how.

I believe that we are only responsible for the situations that we directly cause and not the speculative ones (if only you…)  If I steal something, I am at fault, not the person who doesn’t lock his door to keep a thief out.  If onlys are pure speculation but we can really let ourselves get buried under them if we are not wise.  Stuff happens, we make mistakes, acknowledge them, confess them and ask forgiveness of those we have wronged and move on.  How sad when we become buried under guilt and condemnation that really isn’t ours to assume provided we have responded correctly like mentioned above. We can become overwhelmed with false guilt.

Prodigals are used by God to help us look at the truth in our own situations. Looking

By lat454205 / Lisa
Hope By lat454205 / Lisa

back I can now see that there are things that could have been handled differently and with a whole lot more unconditional love.  But then the child has a responsibility also.  They become runners.  Runners from the truth, their pain and anything that gets uncomfortably close to their emotions.  They need help to see that their poor choices are what they need to own up to.  I am responsible for my choices and my children for theirs, my spouse His, etc.  It is a dynamic that I just don’t know how people without the Lord survive and many don’t.

I have attached a link to an Oswald Chamber’s reading for March 24.  This is what Amy came to show me the next morning when she had been praying for me and my prodigal.  It wasn’t even March but she came upon it and shared it with me and it has had a very profound impact on my thinking.  You see dysfunctionality breeds false guilt which therefore won’t let the wrong assume their sorrows and pain that they find themselves in.  He must increase… If God is sovereign and in control and I believe He is, then every thing, large and small is used by Him (He is fully aware of it’s happening) to grow us up and closer to Him.  According to Chambers, we can become the very thing that gets in the way of our prodigal learning (yes the hard way) his lessons.

Some of us have to learn the hard way, I know I have.  If someone comes along to smooth out the situation instead of letting the circumstantial consequences teach the lesson then that someone has interrupted the class and the lesson may be postponed until a later date and possibly a more severe situation.  The verse for the March 24th devotional was from John 3:30 and it is simple and profound, “He must increase, but I must decrease”.  Get out of the way and let God be God and the Holy Spirit do what it is that He desires to do in a wandering soul’s heart!  In modern day terms we would say quit being an enabler!  Friend, I have had to say this to myself over and over because that is what I was so used to doing to try and make things right and work!  But I was the one who continued to get in the way.

So I pray that we would not be in the way of the catylist that the Lord would use to work in the heart of that one who is walking contrary to God’s ways.

Father, I cautiously say, do it Lord, whatever it takes to break the heart of the wanderer so that they would look beyond themselves and see You!  I know You will give me the courage to believe that You hold his or her life in Your hands and that Your desire is to see them come to You and give them the peace they have been searching for.  I even say thank you for the hard lessons that I have had to learn because You used them to bring me much closer to You each time.  I not only love You Lord, but I trust You and entrust my loved ones to You, in Jesus’ Name!

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