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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Stand on the Hill

As I stand on my doorstep and look forlornly down the street, I think of the father who saw his son from yet a far off place and ran to greet him. How long he waited -- hoping, and undoubtedly praying, for his son's safe return. How long will I wait? Will my son ever come home -- literally to my arms, or figuratively to His Father's arms?

I could rewrite my last blog again, and it would still be relevant all these months later. Only my now 18-year-old son is no longer living in the house. He is rarely attending his last semester in school. His school counselor called and indicated he will not be able to graduate as he lost a needed class credit due to truancy. He admits to using drugs. He does not work -- though at times has money to spare (?!). He is less and less in contact with me, and rarely in contact with his dad. At times he reaches out to his younger brother, but since he is only able to see him if he comes to visit with us at home or out with us for a meal, that isn't happening anymore either.

I think again of that father in Luke 15. How did he cope? How did his wife cope? I don't remember her being mentioned in the story. Obviously life went on. The father lived and worked alongside his other son. But yet he waited and hoped and prayed.

There are times my heart is so broken that I don't know how to pray. I don't know what to say. I can only cry, "Lord, Lord." Or sob quietly. Or even wail. And then, I step off the doorstep and continue to live life...working, running errands, spending time with my husband and youngest son. But it's not quite right. And, even though it's incredibly busy (often too much so), it's not quite full.

Jesus tells about a shepherd who leaves his 99 sheep and goes to find 1 who went astray. He shares about a woman who lost 1 of her 10 coins and looks high and low until she finds it (then rejoices and tells everyone around her). And of course, there's the father and his prodigal son. I know these are all examples of God's amazing love for us and the rejoicing when what was once lost is then found. Jesus speaks of the rejoicing in heaven when His children turn to Him.

I want to rejoice as the woman with the coin. I want to throw a party as the father did for his returning son. I want to place my lamb in my arms and carry him back to the flock. What if that time does not come for me? What if I wait, hope and pray, and the Lord's answer is something else entirely? What if, as I look for His answer as only to be "my son coming home", that I miss the real answer He has for me?

Isaiah 42:16 says, "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them."

Though I often feel lost, hurt, and in despair, I know I am not foresaken. I have to admit, I forget that sometimes -- my emotions take over, and I wonder where God is. The path is indeed dark and unknown. I feel completely blind as to the future. I long for the smooth road. But I am called to trust. When I do, I remember all that God has done for me in the past. He has always shined a light on my path. At my weakest he has made me strong and given me a hope when I have been hopeless. I have no reason to trust He won't do so again. He is the same today, yesterday and forever.

"Lord, when I can't think of what to pray, may I just remember Your words, and pray them back to You. May I turn to the direction of the light rather than wallowing in the darkness. May I remember that YOU love my son as the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. These are illustations of YOUR love for my Cody. When nothing else gives me comfort, may that knowledge be enough."