The Prodigal Child – A Time for Life and a Time for Death

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die…
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a)

A time to be born…

I prayed for this child.  God saw fit to answer it.  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)

The day of this child’s birth was one of the most joyous days of my life.  But the early years weren’t without trouble.  Medical scares that thrust me on my face before God.  Begging, pleading for Him to heal.  He did.  Little did I know that several years later I would be laid out again before God.  But this time in prayer for spiritual healing.

Most times I feel incompetent to parent this child.  But God knew I would be the best person for this job.  Yes, even for those hard days.  And nothing, not one thing has taken Him by surprise.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)

A time to die…

Here’s what I’ve come to discover.  In the birth of each one of my children, God has called me to die.  Die to self.  Die to ideals.  Die to wants.  Die to the need to play God.

I had so much in mind for this child.  In the early years I even had a spouse picked out.  Of course, it would be a churched kid.  I envisioned a white wedding.  A lifestyle of serving the Lord.

None of that happened.  Not a white wedding.  No serving the Lord.  What I did get was a lot of sleepless nights…a child running from the Lord……an overdose…a fight to get my child out of a mental institution…the diagnosis of bipolar depression…a granddaughter born out of wedlock….and well, I could go on.

If there is ever a time to die to self, it’s when you are parenting a wayward child.  Not only for the purpose of allowing God to actually do what He does best—and that’s BE God—but for the good of your child.  The only way to know how to parent during this difficult season is to bury self—and I don’t mean burying your head in the sand.  However, what you need to bury is something only God can show.  It will be different for everyone.  My circumstances of parenting a prodigal are unique from yours.  No two families are the same.  We come with different values, beliefs, backgrounds and experiences.  God will show you what needs to die in you.  You only need to ask.

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