My day didn’t start out very well…while eating breakfast and watching the news a commercial came on T.V. for an event for children that was going to take place. I was reminded of days gone by and the innocence of childhood. As the conversation and memories my wife and I shared together progressed I was quickly confronted with the pain and heartache that comes when those innocent children grow into adults and make sinful choices. What can we do with (or for) those we love and cherish who turn their backs on righteousness and choose a life of sin?
I am sure that you would receive almost as many different answers to this question as the number of people to whom you would ask it. Yet in a couple of conversations I had with men I love and respect; this one common thought continued to permeate. Sometimes all we can do is be there for them when (and if) they come home.
There could be no more relevant story to this situation than the parable of the Prodigal Son. In Luke 15 Jesus tells a story that has repeated itself countless times over the centuries and I believe will continue to for as long as mankind is allowed to continue on the earth. A son, who takes all that has been given him, leaves home and wastes it in sin. Placing ourselves in the shoes of the father I can’t help but think that he daily prayed for his son. He must have walked out to the edge of the road daily and stood for hours hoping to see his boy return just over the horizon. Before his son left he did all he could do and now all he could do was be there for him when he returned home.
But also consider that the father also had other responsibilities to tend to each day. Another son to care for, a home, a business…he did not let his sorrow and grief overcome him to the point that he was negligent in his own duties. I am sure that those around him knew of his concern for his lost son. But he did not let those concerns affect his relationship to those around him. And when the boy “came to himself” what a joyous reunion took place. The willingness of the son to repent and come home and the fact that the father was there, waiting for him when he returned, both contributed to the successful reunion.
Some may ask even today, “Where is God?” The answer to this too is found in our parable. He is where He has always been. Waiting for us at the end of the road to come home. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Where is He? Waiting at the end of the road for you to come home. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).