The Prodigal Child – A Time to Search and a Time to Give Up

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

a time to search and a time to give up…

(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6a)

A time to search…

I can only imagine the pain and heartache experienced by parents of prodigals who have no idea where to find their child.  They’ve been missing days, weeks, months or even longer.  I’ve only experienced a smidgeon of this feeling.  To live day in and day out without knowledge of their child’s presence and safety—well, my heart goes out to these parents.


There is a time to search…to look for a child and try to bring him back.  In some cases, this means a searching for the truth.  What the child has done or plans on doing.  Truly, no one else makes for a better private investigator than a mother desperate to know the truth about her child.


Jesus can help in the search…He leads the search and rescue team!  I have seen Him do this in ways I could never have thought up on my own.  That mother’s intuition about where to find a child?  That’s the Holy Spirit guiding the way and giving wisdom.  He can help when it’s time to search.


A time to give up…

Yet there is also a time to give up.  Not in the sense that we lose hope.  But in that we let go of the need to control, the need to know, the need to understand.  Sometimes it just won’t happen.  So, all we’re left with is releasing our child and allowing God to do His work.


Searching is necessary sometimes but it’s frantic.  In letting go, we actually find the greatest peace.  When I get to that place, which has been fewer times that I would like to admit, it feels so freeing.  Not controlling is a relief.  Not knowing is okay.  Not understanding is fine.


Searching isn’t easy but giving up is even harder.  Yet there truly is a season for both.  Jesus walks with you through each of these, so know you are never alone.


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