Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Name:
Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Waiting on the Prodigal

My youngest son has decided he no longer believes in God. He has left his family and is living the life of a single man. His behaviors have broken the hearts of many who love him. These actions have damaged his relationships with his family and my relationships with my daughter in law and my grandchildren, all of whom I adore. There is no soul not hurting. Ned and I have spent many tearful hours in prayer, asking God to prick his heart and work in his life, to bring him home. I have been searching the scriptures for encouragement and comfort and hope.
Over and over again, I find myself drawn to the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. I read the parable and notice it chronicles the life of the son. We know he disrespects his father by demanding his inheritance. We know he squandered his inheritance with wild living. He was undisciplined and dissipated and before long, had nothing left. He went to work feeding the pigs, deciding whether or not to fight them for the daily slop that was unfit for human consumption. We know what this young son was doing.
But, the story does not tell us what the father was doing all this time. I can imagine he had to go on with his daily life, doing the work, providing for his family, running his business. I can imagine he had to force himself to not worry, to not think about the possibilities of the pigpen or worse. I can imagine he'd packed and unpacked his bags several times, talking himself out of going to look for his lost boy. I can imagine he remembered how sweet and innocent the child had once been, how smart and clever, and how the child who used to make him laugh, now only makes him cry. I can imagine everytime someone came down the path, he squinted his eyes, hoping to see that familiar gait, getting ready to run towards the figure and welcome him home. I can imagine he avoided people who would ask about his son, feeling his shame and finding it increasingly difficult to report good news. I can imagine this father hurt everyday, every hour and every minute.
And yet, he waited and watched. The text says, while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and came running. He did not know why his son was coming home. The son may have been coming to ask for more money. He may have only been coming for a visit. To the father, it did not matter why he came home, only that he did. The father had only to look into the eyes of his beloved son, had only to hear the first few words, "father, I have sinned against . . . " before he knew it was time to celebrate. It was time to celebrate hope!!! The son was lost but now is found. That is cause to celebrate.
I find myself wondering what brought the boy home. The text says he came to his senses. What helped him get his mind right? Was it the prayers of the father? Was it the hope of those who loved him? Was it the smell of his new life? Whatever the catalyst, the result was the warm embrace of his father, the return of a dear and treasured relationship, and a celebration of repentance.
So now, I find myself praying for Nathan. I pray that if it takes a pigpen to bring him home, that the pigpen is just around the corner. I pray that our Father will keep him safe until he comes to his senses. I pray that he will realize what he has lost and come home . . . and so with broken heart and tear filled eyes, I watch and wait.

Neva

21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is too bad you and Larissa aren't comforting each other. You are both hurting. You both love the kids and neither one of you understand what Nathan is thinking. You could be a real encouragement to one another.
I am praying for you both.

Jean

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am praying for you and so is my entire youth group.


Stay strong sister

Dan

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are all praying




Lyndsay

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I could help you. I know from experience there is no greater pain than losing a child to satan. I will pray fervently for his return. And that God will give you and the rest of Nathans family the strength to overcome Satan as he encourages you all to behave badly,

Linda

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peace--wait for your son, like God waits for us, longing to forgive us and welcome us back. He has felt your shame and your pain and hurts for you. Prayer by prayer He will heal you.
For now, be at peace.

Dean

11:27 AM  
Blogger John Roberts said...

Neva, I always check out the blogs of folks who stop by mine. What a blessing to find yours. You are a wonderful writer and your experiences and insights are powerful. I hurt for you in the experience with your son's faith and family situation and will pray that he comes to his senses. Thanks for dropping by.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for all the prodigals, thanking God for waiting on me, praying for you

Eileen

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neva,
I am so very sorry, I am crying and wishing I could give you a hug and praying that God will heal your family. I know how you love your children and grandchildren beyond measure and they all know that too. I also know that you have faith beyond measure. This is when prayers, love and faith in God will allow us to know that whatever may come, God is in control.
with love and prayers

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, my dear friend, I am so sorry that your heart is breaking so. I know how much you love your family. God loves them that much too. I have always been amazed at your faith and courage. I know you will face this situation likeyou have done the others in the past. Every day every minute every hour, prayers are being sent on your behalf and He is listening.

I love you my friend,
Pat

3:57 PM  
Anonymous James said...

Neva,

One thing you have shared with me I want to remind you of. Psalm 37:4 says, "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart". I remember focusing on that scripture during some challenging times. God has given me the desires of my heart. I am not a "name it and claim it" thinker but God does promise us many comforts in our challenges. God longs to comfort.

The father in Luke 15 may have been doing some of the things you wrote about. The parallel of the father and God shows a longing father.

Our hearts go out to your family as well. We pray as well.

James

9:20 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Neva,

Like John, I try to stop by the blogs of those who visit mine. What an incredibly difficult time you are having at this time. May God give you the wisdom, strength and insight you and your husband need at this time.

Grace and peace to you and yours,
-bill
Spiritual Oasis Blog

9:28 PM  
Blogger K. Rex Butts said...

I am a prodigal child who came home. God is working in ways that we are unable to see (the mystery) and as hard as that is to accept, we must learn to keep trusting -- even when it seems that God's ears are falling deaf upon our prayers.

3:28 PM  
Blogger lori said...

I haven't put this on my blog but there was a time that my son was on church discipline. I didn't get to see him get married nor see my grandchild born. I can relate to what you are going through and will keep your family in my prayers daily.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

Neva -

Bill Williams of the Spiritual Oasis semt me over here and I just want to offer you a bit of encouragement in your troubles with your son, Nathan. I, too, had a "prodigal son" who later recognized that about himself for his lapse of about a year and a half.

It was a really difficult time for us all, but I prayed every day for him and I know at least one of our elders at church told me he prayed for Mark each day. I cried when he told me that because it meant so much to me.

Mark went off with a girl who was less than repuable and who caused nothing but heartache for our entire family and Mark could not see her for what she was. It was a terribly difficult and sad time for us, but one day after that 1 1/2 years, he showed up on our doorstep totally broken and contrite and wanting to come stay with us, which we let him do, of course, very thankfully and gratefully to God.

I want to encourage you not to give up but to pray every day for Nathan and ask God to keep him safe until he can, indeed, come to his senses. That's exactly what happened with my son and while I've never asked him what all happened, I know that God kept him safe and finally was able to reach and touch his heart. If you'd like, email me, okay. You can find my email address on my blog.

I'm from Texas (from Abernathy, down just north of Lubbock) so I know your part of the country well. We just came across the panhandle last October on our way home from a vacation in New Mexico and Colorado.

Take heart. The Lord be with you and keep you safe and in His care always - and your son, too.

Dee Andrews

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

I can't imagine what you must be going through. My prayers are with you and your family.

"You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?" ~ Psalm 56:8

The Lord sees and knows your tears. He suffers long with you through this hard time. My He be your comfort and refuge.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous diana said...

You're in my prayers, Neva. Have faith and be encouraged that the Lord knows his plans for you, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a hope and a future. The Lord works everything out for the good of those who love him, and when God is for us who can be against us? (Jeremiah 29.11, Romans 8)

Praying that Nathan will return to the Lord quickly, and comfort and love to your home. God bless you,

Love
Diana

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Daniel said...

Hi

I was a prodigal son many times over myself. The life i used to live was godless, fully abandoned to the senses craving for the pleasures of this world. I understood the hurts it caused to those who love me. Your son is blessed to have a mother who is standing in the gap in prayers and petitioning to the Lord for His mercy and Grace.

There is this passage which has been of tremendous encouragement.

2 Corinthians 1:3-11

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts YOU in all YOURtroubles, so that YOU can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort YOU YOURSELFhave received from God.

For just as the sufferings o fChrist flow over into YOUR life, so as through Christ our comfort overflows.

Be comforted because God is in control. Though you and I may not see the hands of God sometimes, be assured, the providence and the sovereign God works even on YOUR behalf when you do not realised. Continue to stand firm, and see the Wonders God will demonstrate just as God showed Moses.

may God be your banner!

8:13 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Neva dear,

I too am here at the encouragement from Bill of Spiritual Oasis. He suggested I might be able to share a bit of encouragement with you. Hopefully and I can.

Not only was I, for many years [much to my shame] a prodigal. My father had callouses on his knees from praying so faithfully about me, but he NEVER put any pressure one, just made sure I knew he loved me and was always there for me. His prayers were answered after many years of trusting the LORD to fulfill His promise in Proverbs:
Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.


Now, it is my turn to live on my knees for one of my beautiful children. There are glimmers of hope that the return of the prodigal is nearing.

Neva, it would be my honor to join you in prayer for your Nathan and I truly believe God when He promises that Nathan will return to the upbringing he has been blessed with in his youth.

You understand God's faithfulness because you have been faithful to Him.

The 2 Cornithians 1:3-11 scripture mentioned by Daniel just happens to be one of my life guiding passages. It has helped through many a rough patch and I pray it does you too.

In His love, grace and mercy
Kathy

9:55 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I also found your blog through Bill Williams. I am so sorry for all the suffering your family is going through. I will be in prayer for you, for peace, strength and comfort. And for your son's heart to be soft again.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Candle (C & L) said...

I too came via a referal from Bill Williams.

My heart breaks for you and your son. I like your thoughts about the parent(s) in the parable of the prodigal son (it says father but I can equally imagine it being the mother) and what they were doing while they waited.

I think one of the biggest challenges is knowing how to respond. There are 3 parables about lost things and there are 3 responses.

I too experienced a situation where my son lived a "prodigal's life". He is now married with a son and doing well in this life. However, he has really not come to his senses since he doesn't believe in God's grace and he hasn't returned to his Father's arms so I would say he is still a prodigal.

Indeed this is true of all 3 of my children who have drifted away from the faith we instilled in themas theywere growing up. They are generally "good people" but they don't put much (if any) concern into their relationship with God.

My wife and I pray daily that God will find a way to draw them back. We try to communicate that we love them as much as we are dismayed about their choices in their relationship with God.

Keep praying-- as the opportunity provides itself let him know you love him as much as you are dismayed by the break in your relationship that his actions have caused.

May Prayer and trust in God grant you peace and may the power of His spirit be rekindled in this straying heart.

God Bless Charlie

http://candlw.blogspot.com

8:38 AM  
Blogger Neva said...

Thank you all for your beautiful outpourings of love and faith. I am hopeful and will faithfully pray. Thank you for praying with me.

Neva

12:16 PM  

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