The Lord spoke to me again, saying: In Ramah there is bitter weeping—Rachel is weeping for her children and cannot be comforted, for they are gone. But the Lord says: Don’t cry any longer, for I have heard your prayers and you will see them again; they will come back to you from the distant land of the enemy. There is hope for your future, says the Lord, and your children will come again to their own land. Jeremiah 31: 15-17 TLB
As I was contemplating Valentine’s Day, I stumbled upon the song below, and as I watched the video, tears began to flood down my face.
I thought of the verse above; of Rachel weeping for her children. And because I was a Prodigal, a Runaway who was determined to stay gone forever? I tried to imagine what I would say to the parents of the prodigals of today.
How would I pray?
Father, comfort parents waiting in the dark…
Because, You know, this is the hardest kind of waiting…
The waiting for even a glimmer of hope…
The waiting for just a flicker of Light from above, one small sign, one kind word, one tiny crack in the stone walls of silence.
And I wondered, being a former prodigal, “What could I say to encourage a parent who is grieving for a their runaway who is far away from God?”
A Valentine: From The Far Country
To the Parents of Prodigals,
The first thing I would to say to you is, “This is not about you.”
It’s not about what you did, or didn’t do.
(No matter what your child might be saying.)
This isn’t about any failure on your part (though I’m guessing) there probably were a few.
No one is a perfect parent…
And I guess that would be the next thing I would write to you, because you need to know deep down in your heart, that though your child might be angry, and they might accuse you, or blame you? It is their Father in Heaven who shoulders ALL of the responsibility for them.
His shoulders alone carry the whole weight of our failures to the cross. Not only yours but also your child’s. (His shoulders are the only ones that can.)
Whatever you might feel, in the way of guilt or shame as a failed parent, I want you to know: that guilt has already been atoned for and forgiven.
Jesus said, “It is finished!” And so, it is. Now, forgive yourself.
Hold on tightly to His promises!
His promises bring HOPE and hope still floats.
But the Lord says: Don’t cry any longer, for I have heard your prayers and you will see them again; they will come back to you from the distant land of the enemy. Jeremiah 31: 16
No matter how far they have wandered, this I can promise you from personal experience: God has not forsaken them for one single moment.
NOTHING can separate them from His love, and your prayers. He is watching over every step they take; every move they make; and He is a Faithful Shepherd whose power is without equal!
“I alone am the Good Shepherd, and I know those whose hearts are mine, for they recognize me and know me, just as my Father knows my heart and I know my Father’s heart. I am ready to give my life for the sheep. John 10: 14-15 TPT
God knows the day…
The exact day, when He will orchestrate their return.
Looking back, I can assure you, I realize now that God was turning me toward home, long before I realized what was happening.
There was nothing random about all my choices and the events surrounding them; “things that I believed were merely coincidence” were actually far from it! God was ever-so-gently guiding each step that I took, until I was back in His arms, safe and sound.
There is hope for your future, says the Lord, and your children will come again to their own land. Jeremiah 31: 17
Jesus and I want you to have a HOPE-filled Valentine’s Day!
With Much Love,
From Your Heavenly Father & Their Faithful “Abba”