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Waiting for Your Prodigal

Do you have a child who is lost? Finding yourself somewhere unknown can be scary, and being  alone can be even worse. We must remember that God's heart is for those who have turned away, and who need help to find their way home.“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” ~ Luke 15:20

Being lost is scary. Who doesn’t remember feeling alone, being disoriented, and finding yourself disconnected from what is secure and familiar?

I can still remember the first time I was lost. I let go of my dad’s hand in a busy mall. I had let my eyes wander to take in the sea of people during that busy holiday shopping time and when I looked up again, I suddenly found myself alone. Little did I know, my father was close by. He knew exactly where I was even when I lost sight of where he was.

As I read the Gospels, I’m especially reminded of how much God loves those who are lost, the ones who have let go of their Father’s hand and wandered into unfamiliar territory, surrounded by real danger and unable to get back home.

In Luke 15, Jesus told three parables about being lost.

First it was a sheep.

Then a coin.

And finally a child.

I have always been struck by the effort involved in searching for those lost objects. The sheep didn’t find its way back, nor did the coin wander out from under a table or couch. In each of these parables, Jesus illustrated the heart of a Father who not only loves the lost but is also actively looking for them. 

Recently I was talking to a mom whose son is spiritually lost. He was nineteen when he let go of his Father’s hand. She has not stopped praying for him, loving him, and still to this day, she’s anxiously waiting for him to come home.

The good news is that God is not done looking for, pursuing, loving, and seeking those who are lost. Maybe you have a son or daughter who has walked away from faith. They have made choices that have taken them farther from God. Your heart is heavy with the weight of watching someone you dearly love run from the greatest Love of all.

If that is you, don’t give up. Don’t despair. God the Father is not far from your son or daughter. These children may have lost sight of Him, but He has not lost sight of them. He not only loves; He also looks for those who are lost, welcoming back prodigals just as He welcomed us. 

Father. thank You for Your faithful love. Thank you for pursuing me. You are a Father who is patient but also persistent. You love the lost, and I trust You. Help me to trust Your power and Your timing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

As you think about the story of the prodigal son, what does the father do that most surprises you? 

If you are the parent of a prodigal son or daughter, how can you trust God in this season?

If you know a parent of a prodigal son/daughter, how can you encourage him/her today?


Ruth Schwenk

This devotion is from my devotional co-authored with Karen Ehman, Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet With Jesus. Learn more <HERE>.


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