Luke 15:11-32- A Prodigal Story
Being a mother is one of the most rewarding and wonderful part of this life the Lord has given me. It has also been the hardest part. I love my children more than life itself sometimes, and then on other occasions I ask the Lord what on earth was He thinking when He gave me children! I have made so many mistakes as a mother, and so many mistakes as a Christian, that I am surprised either of my children follow Jesus. But there comes a point and time when we, as mothers, have to let go of our children. Sometimes it is easy because they are following the Lord, and seeking Him in their lives, other times it is not so easy. Yesterday was the hardest day of my life so far as a mother- I had to let go of a child that is not seeking God, nor has a walk with Jesus, but I had to let go.
Yesterday, as I poured out my heart to my Lord and Savior, He reminded me of a story that Jesus told to us. It is the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. Many of us have experienced this with our children, the wavering of their faith, the worldly draw upon them, many of us have not. For those mothers who have children walking with the Lord, be so thankful! In fact, praise Him every day for it. The one thing I have desired above everything else in my children’s lives is that they would know and believe in Jesus Christ and that they would seek Him with all their hearts. But I can’t do that for them. I can teach them the ways of the Lord, I can set the example of faith for them, but they have to find Jesus for themselves, I can’t save my children- only Jesus Christ can save them.
As I was reading Luke 15 this morning, I was given hope- hope for my child who has chosen wasteful living. But also, there is a deep sorrow in this passage. The sorrow comes in verse 14, “But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land and he began to be in want.” Our children who choose this world over God will have to experience a dark and lonely place. They will have to come to the end of themselves, and the Lord God will make that happen. I was once a Prodigal Child- far away from God and my family, living in darkness, disobedience and wasteful living. I remember the hurt, the pain, the anguish that I had to suffer to come to the place of humble submission to my God and Father, my Lord and my King. All our children have to come to that place as well.
I know the pain, the suffering and the hurt that my child will have to experience, and that gives me great sorrow. I can’t stop it, no more than this father could stop it for the Prodigal. But there is hope, there is a promise in this scripture from our Father, it is in verse 17, “But when he came to himself”. Oh Lord, that our children, who have chosen the wasteful and the world would come to this place, this place of humble submission and would cry out, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before You.” And turn from their wasteful living. That is the prayer I think every mother that has a child living in disobedience and disbelief prays daily. I love my children; My Father in heaven loves them much more.
The struggles, the pain, the evilness that they will have to experience and go through to get to this place, are what bring sorrow to my heart. But it must be done, we as mothers have to let go at some point, we have to accept the will of God in our children’s lives. The story of the Prodigal Son is a promise to us mothers today that have children choosing waste instead of Grace. When will they come to the “end of themselves”? I do not know, but we need to be ready to run to them and embrace them, no matter how dirty they are.
In verse 20 Jesus says that “he (the prodigal) arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” When our children do turn from the wasted life they are living and return to God- this is how God will receive them, this is how we should receive them. Pastor Chuck Smith wrote- “This disgraceful son had returned home. He was a real mess, having been working in the pigpen. But the father didn’t ask him to clean up first, before touching him. He just ran to him and embraced him and kissed him. He had compassion on him. “ When our children return, it does not matter what they have done, where they have gone, or how far away they travelled, what matters is that we receive them as they are, right where they are. Showing them the love and compassion that our Father in heaven showed us when we turned to Him.
So, what do I do now Lord? You are showing me a promise, a hope for my wayward child- what do I do now? I pray and have faith in what He is working in the life of my child. For it is not I who work, but Christ Jesus who loves my child, and gave Himself for him, a ransom- for the sins that he has and will commit. The story of the Prodigal son is a story of love, compassion and most importantly- forgiveness: the forgiveness of our Father in Heaven, and the hope of His mercy and His grace towards our children and us. We all have prodigal living in our homes- whether it’s us or someone living in our house, but if we decide to choose Grace instead of Waste, then we will be forever in the Father’s embrace.
Keep praying, mothers and fathers, and let’s be ready to receive our children- no matter how dirty they are. Let us stand upon the promise of Jesus Christ, and let us not give up hope. Even if that hope seems to never come- let us not give up, ever.