Wednesday, September 16, 2009

prodigals

The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 is one that touches us all in one way or another. Each family has a lost name on their heart, each family has trials that come, and some have those prodigals who move away from what they believe in only to try to find their own way. Do we really know just how lost we are when we are in the center of our wilderness? As I have friends who were raised their whole lives with Christ, I was not. I was not taken to church or raised in the belief of a Holy Savior. My parents both had their beliefs and didn't want to impose them upon me, but allow me to make my own path. As I walked my own path, I always knew something was missing, so therefore I searched and searched to find that one thing to fill the empty spot I so needed to be filled. I didn't know I was lost in my way, for many things I thought this is how everyone lived, and thought it natural. But as I kept growing, after I had my daughters I knew I wanted more for them, I wanted them to walk a different path than me, to be on solid ground. As I met my husband, I was looking for a church to take my daughters to, and God knew exactly what He was doing by leading him to me, for it was through Him that I learned about Christ, and there began my new search on different terms, not on mine anymore, but seeking my Savior, only to learn, He was the One seeking me. As we raise our children, we always want better for them than we had, we want changes, we want the best for them. As our children grow, we teach them about Christ, we teach them all that the Lord has shown us, we take them to church and build a life for them in faith, but we cannot force our children to take the path inwhich we know is best for them. At times we have to let go and let them seek. Although that is painful as a parent, God sees and knows just where they are and what is before them. At times as young people we try to find our own path, our own road to travel. At times that is away from what we were taught as children, and we move little by little away from that deep faith that was once rooted in us, but the amazing thing is Christ never moves away, He is still there calling to us in so many ways, just as He was calling to me. We are blessed with amazing children, with five children who have to chose the path for them. We can share with them all we want, but a forced faith, is not a real faith, at times we really do have to find it on our own, and go down roads that are deep, with twists and turns, some of those turns take us away from our family, some take us away from our faith, but God promises to bring us back into His fold. In the story of the lost son, there are two sons, one who stayed and was faithful and one who left, to find his own way, only to come back, to return to his faith and his family. That is a hope of many families today, that is the hope of Christ that all His children turn from their own paths and come follow Him as twelve did so long ago. In the story as the lost son comes home, the faithful one just seems not to understand the loving welcome he is getting, but as the father explaines, I think the love shines through and God gives us the grace we need, the strength we need and the loving arms to welcome them back. There is not a parent who doesn't want the best for their child, but we must let go and let God. We must allow God to have the control that as parents we at times try to take away from Him, for we think we know what is best for our children, but God knows much more than we, for He has a glimpse into the future and knows what is ahead for each child of His and knows just what it will take to bring them back into His fold. A transformation doesn't happen without change, without trials, and without valleys to teach us and to mold us. As we so much want these things to happen over night, God knows it takes time, and all happens in His time. There are times I think, I wish I could have followed Christ my whole life, things would have been different, but as I have grown, I now know Christ came into my life just at the right moment, not in anyone's time, but only Christ's time. He was leading me, and teaching me when I didn't even realize it was Him. So as we pray for our children, we must remember all is in God's time, and even though nothing can break the love we have for our children, God's love is even stronger, so we must realize just how great His love is, and have patience, for its through the patience that we learn so much, not just about us, but about Christ and His great love. As parents we make mistakes, just as our children do, but we have to remember we have a loving God who forgives and redeems all those who love Him. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 Here we have a assurance, but with this it doesn't say he will never turn away, but that when he is old he will not depart. Time not only heals, but it teaches. God hears each prayer we have, He knows each one from our heart, and not one prayer goes unanswered. The lessons learned in childhood will last a lifetime. Just as Christ was calling me, He calls those we love to Him, but it is not our decision to make, our children must make that decision on their own of what path they choose, as parents we can only guide them and show them the way. As parents we do our best, we give all we have, through our love and mistakes God is there. If you are there today, don't give up, don't lose heart, keep your faith strong and pray. Keep your heart open and your arms wide, being there loving them even when they are not looking. What parent has not been on their knees for their child? For every parent wants to find their child in their arms, just as Christ seeks out to touch His daily. "And he said to him,'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found." Luke 15:31-32 Every parent wants to say the words, "Welcome home", so as Christ wants to hear the words,"I'm glad to be home." Sometimes in our walk we go far from home, only to see just how special it was and once we are home, the meaning has such sweetness we never forget where we came from and just where our steps have taken us, to a sweeter relationship with our Savior~
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