Have you ever witnessed a friend or family member heading down a dead end path but were powerless to help redirect them? I recently exerienced that scenerio. For 14 months we tried to help a family member get his life moving forward toward success. We helped him make some progress, actually more than we anticipated. But, then things started to change. Old habits and old friends tempted him. The familiar old “comfort zone” called his name and he answered. Positive goals were gone and replaced with the desire for immediate gratification. A really good hearted person became mean and hateful in attitude and actions.
One evening when I was praying, God reminded me of the story in the Bible of the prodigal son. You can find it in Luke 15:11-32. I have read this story so many times but this time I was reading it from the father’s perspective. I felt like God was telling me it was ok to “let go”. Sometimes that’s all you can do. You know the father was heartbroken when all this son wanted from him was money. He had hoped for much more for his son. He knew what was ahead for his son if he went down that road. But, we all choose our own path and this time, he let his son chose his.
Even though his son “took the money and ran” so to speak, the father did not give up hope. Even though scripture does not specifically say, I think he was very much still living in the present. However, he had hope that at some point in the future his son would return. He was always looking down the road expectantly. In God’s perfect time, his son did return – repentant and humble. He did not expect to be received so joyously and graciously. But, his father had already forgiven him and rejoiced in his return.
This gives me hope that one day (I hope and pray soon), our loved one will come to his senses and change paths. Then we will receive him with glad hearts and be rejoicing and praising God!
Until then, we continue to pray, hope and trust in God for we know that with God, ALL things are possible.