The Prodigal’s Parents

Posted on: 7-15-112012

Due to a family member’s decision to walk down a road that is taking her away from God instead of toward Him, a passage of Scripture has taken on new significance for me.  It is the passage often referred to as “The Prodigal Son” (Luke 15:11 – 32)  It’s the story of a father with two sons.  One son decides to take his inheritance and leave home.  He goes off into the world and lives according to his own desires.  Time goes on and, eventually, he finds himself having used up all of his inheritance.  He gets a job feeding pigs and even gets to the point that he wishes he could eat the pig slop. Ultimately, he decides to return home and throw himself at the mercy of his father. When he returns, he is in for a surprise!  His father is waiting for him, arms opened wide, eyes filled only with love and forgiveness…not even a hint of condemnation.  The son begs forgiveness and asks to just be treated as a slave, but the father won’t have any of it.  He gets the son the best robe, sandals for his feet, a ring for his hand, and sets about preparing a celebration feast to honor his return.  The father in the story is a symbol of God in our lives. We are all prodigal sons/daughters in some shape or form.  What has always amazed me about this story is that the father is waiting for him!  He has never given up that his son will come home one day!  And when that day came, he wanted to be there to welcome him.  As I live out a very similar story in my own life, I have started to wonder a lot of things about the father in the story.  Scripture doesn’t mention a mother in the story, so as I walk this road, I see myself in the father’s shoes.  And, even though this is a parable to symbolize how God waits for us,there are real prodigal children and there are real prodigal parents that are waiting for their return. Therefore,these are the questions I keep asking myself about the father if he was an earthly father:

-How many tears did the father cry as he waited for his son’s return? Did he cry with soft, quiet tears at times, and with uncontrollable sobs that shook his whole body at others?

-How many prayers did he utter as he waited for his son’s return? How many times did he simply ask for God to bring his son home, and how many times did he beg God with everything in him?

-Did he ever doubt that his son would come home again or did he have complete confidence that he would return? Or maybe, did he go through times of doubt and times of faith…and sometimes, did he waver back and forth between faith and doubt from moment to moment?

-Did he ever wonder what would happen if his son didn’t come home?

-Did he worry night and day about what his son was doing and if he was safe? Did he worry about the decisions his son was making while he was gone? Did he worry about the consequences that may come as a result of his son’s decisions?

-Did he worry about his other son and how this was affecting him?  What was the amount of devastation caused to the family due to this situation?

-How long did he have to wait for his son’s return? Did he ever want to just give up? Did he want to just pull the covers over his head and not get out of bed at all?

-Did he have good days filled with hope and bad days filled with despair? When he was filled with despair, how did he find his way back to hope?

My list of questions goes on and on, but for now I will end by saying that when the prodigal in my family comes home, they will find me waiting!

“And he arose and came to his father. But, when he was still a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” Luke 15:20


3 Responses to "The Prodigal’s Parents"

May God give you strength and courage during this time. He will work things out according to his purpose, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Phil. 2:13 11 “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” Ecc. 3:11 He will make everything beautiful in his time, even though that time is not right now. :o)

[…] The Prodigal’s Parents ( […]

As a friend once said, “Sometimes you have to leave that one upon the altar”. God has many agencies and influences working at all times toward reconciliation and healing. You are not in this thing alone. Doug Blair (Waterloo, ON)

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May 2012
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