Meddling Mothers

I was reminded today of meddling. I think as mothers we have a tendency to meddle too much in the lives of our children and we also have a tendency to try and fix everything. In prayer one day God brought to my remembrance a chick coming forth from an egg. The process is very slow and sometimes as we are waiting and watching the chick does not seem strong enough to break open that shell and be free. But there are grave consequences for trying to help the chick break loose from its shell. The chick is actually gaining strength by going through the process and if we meddle we may jeopardize its very life.

chick-hatching

I am guilty of meddling too much in my son’s life; of coming between him and his father when I should have stood silent. I have learned submission to my husband in this area, even though it was and is very hard for me to let go. I have learned that I must put all my trust in my heavenly Father and His timing. I have learned that His way is better and how important it is that I not tamper with what God is doing.

Another reblog…please read the rest here

The Temptation to Take the Battle in Our Own Hands

Are you struggling with the temptation to make things right? To take things into your own hands because the Lord in your mind isn’t working fast enough?

I read this morning in “Streams in the Desert”….

“I once thought that after I prayed
that it was my duty to do everything that I could do to bring the answer
to pass. He taught me a better way, and showed that my self-effort
always hindered His working, and that when I prayed and definitely
believed Him for anything, He wanted me to wait in the spirit of praise,
and only do what He bade me. It seems so unsafe to just sit still, and
do nothing but trust the Lord; and the temptation to take the battle
into our own hands is often tremendous. We all know how impossible it is
to rescue a drowning man who tries to help his rescuer, and it is
equally impossible for the Lord to fight our battles for us when we
insist upon trying to fight them ourselves. It is not that He will not,
but He cannot. Our interference hinders His working.” C.H.P.

This is another reblog… read the rest  here

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God Loves the Broken Hearted by Cathey Stott

It seems timely to reblog this post…

This is an excerpt from a series of articles by Cathey Stott. I thought it was exceptionally helpful to those that are grieving…

The early days of grieving can be very foggy. Life seems unreal and many people report having trouble concentrating or difficulty with their memory. Some feel as if they are losing their mind. Be assured that all such feelings are normal. After all, your entire life has been turned upside down and your brain will need some time to catch up to reality. And then there is the matter of your heart. Your heart is broken so badly and into so many pieces that is seems there is no way you can ever heal.

Just remember what Psalm 34:18 says:
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
(NIV) Read more here

I Know Your Pain

I am going to start a series of reblogs, because there are some really helpful and encouraging posts that were written years ago and the messages in them are timeless…so here goes…

To all you mothers and fathers and siblings of prodigals…I know your pain is excruciating. Likened to the death of a child, but almost worse because of the hurt of his or her rejection of you and of his or her rebellion to God. You know that you are not perfect, that you have made mistakes, but you feel like an utter failure and that God has deserted you. Read more here...

smashed_and_broken_heart-1505

Photo from Understanding Brokenheartedness

How God Persues Prodigals ~ Ray Pritchard

This is a very interesting take on the prodigal…Can we help our prodigals too soon?

Ray Pritchard writes, “Sometimes in our attempt to reach out to the prodigals we know, we can intervene too soon. Do you remember what happened to the prodigal son in Luke 15? After he had wasted all his inheritance in wild living, he ended up feeding the pigs (Luke 15:15-16). As Eugene Peterson puts it, “He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.” If you saw that, you might think, “That young man is ready for a new life.” Maybe so, maybe not.
Sometimes in our attempt to reach out to the prodigals we know, we can intervene too soon.

In the story Jesus told, the father waited for his son to return and then ran to meet him when he was still far from home. What if the father in the story had gone after his son and tried to bring him back even one day early? The son would have said, “If only you had left me alone for one more day, I would have made all my money back because I was investing in pork bellies.”

So it goes. We may think that someone has hit rock bottom when they are still scheming a way out of their problems. It was not until the son “came to his senses” that he decided to return home. That has to happen to every prodigal son and daughter, and it cannot be predicted or forced.

Repentance is first of all a work of God in the human heart. If you come a day too soon, the prodigal will always think, “With one more day, I would have figured out a way to solve my own problems.” As long as the scheming and lying and deceiving continues, the best thing we can do is to pray for God’s Spirit to bring them to their senses and to wait patiently until that day comes.”

I know you will be greatly encouraged reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this sermon by Ray Pritchard on his website  Keep Believing. 

Toward the end of  his sermon Ray gives these  comforting words…

God knows where they are.
God knows what they are doing.
God knows how to reach them.
God knows how to bring them back.

Between now and then, never give up.

Never give up.
Keep believing.
Keep on praying.

Prodigal Children ~ A Devotional by Randy Chambers

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” ~ Proverbs 22:6

Ernest Biéler (1863 – 1948)

Raising children can be a great adventure. You may be thinking, “That’s one way to put it.” From infant to adolescent, and into adulthood, we find joys as well as sorrows–easy times and challenging ones. And finally the day comes where its time for the baby bird to spread its wings. You look back at the long road you traveled to get where you are, and reflect. You look ahead to what is held in an uncertain future and you pray, and you hope, and you pray some more. Being a parent is not easy, as any parent will testify. It is so very hard when you see your children make poor choices, or finding themselves in the middle of suffering the consequences of their actions. You wonder, you worry, and you weep. Yet we are offered hope. We can place our children in the arms of our Lord–trust Him with their safety–knowing He will actively work in their lives to draw the prodigal children back home.

Reflections ~ Randy Chambers

Good News About Prodigals by Tom Bisset

Someone shared with me this  excerpt from  Good News about Prodigals by Tom Bisset. It is so encouraging that I thought it would be well worth passing on  to those of you  who haven’t heard of it.

   “In this book, I have outlined five basic reasons that prodigals return to the faith. A pattern exists; we know why people drop out and we know why they return. Without exception, you will find one or several of these reasons in the stories of all prodigal’s journey home.

   First, they return because of the influence of another person – a spouse, family member, friend, or spiritual leader. This factor is one constant in all returning stories; someone else is always involved, usually significantly, in the prodigal’s journey home.

   Second, they come back because they have a personal or family problem that they cannot solve. Leaving the faith seemed to be the answer to their problems. But in fact, it wasn’t all that easy. Life brought serious problems and doubts of its own. Typically, trouble takes time – anywhere from several years to several decades. But in the end, problems bring prodigals home.

   Third, they return because they are experiencing an emotional and spiritual void in their lives. When life loses its meaning and all seems lost, empty hearts and tormented minds turn toward the God who is there. The good news is that God promises to be found by all who seek Him.

   Fourth, they come back because they are concerned about their children’s moral and spiritual futures. Love for children is a universal emotion from which no parent can escape. Often, God uses this mother and father love to track down adult prodigals with children and create renewed interest in Himself.

   Fifth, they come home because of unexpected, life-changing spiritual experience. Simply put, God breaks into prodigal lives, sometimes radically and calls prodigals to Himself. It’s as if at a certain point along the way God says, “Enough’s enough. Time’s up. Come home now.” And the prodigal returns, or at least begins the journey home.

   This last reason is the easiest to overlook. No doubt this is because we tend to think about a prodigal son or daughter in practical, everyday terms. We grieve over the mess they have made of their lives. We feel a range of emotions, from anguish and anger to guilt and hopelessness. It’s all very real, very now.

   What is more, we want to do something – talk, plead, take action. We sense that we can help. And in fact, we can (it’s why I wrote this book). We can be an active participant in helping our kids understand the difference between error and truth, between life and death. This is what we have done with our children since they were little. Why stop now? Furthermore, to not take action is tantamount to giving up, something no parent of any prodigal will ever do.

   But doing something is not necessarily the answer. Sometimes, we need to do nothing and let God take care of things. In the midst of our trying and crying on behalf of our prodigal children, the hardest thing of all is to remember two simple words: But God.

…I almost forgot that God can sovereignly take charge of people’s lives at the time and place of His choosing. He doesn’t need you or me to do this. He decides to act, and that’s that.”  ~ Tom Bisset


You can order this book at amazon.

A Praying Momma ~ T. Suzanne Eller

This is a wonderfully encouraging article for parents of prodigals…keep on praying!

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

When he first started drinking, she and her husband weren’t sure what to do. Then he was arrested. Soon after they discovered he was using drugs. For the first time in her life, Mickey felt helpless as a mom.

Mickey’s son was raised in church and he once served as a leader in his youth group. Their home was a safe place where faith was lived out. And yet her son continued to spiral downward, no matter what they did. The night he broke into their small business and emptied the cash register was the bleakest night of all.

Mickey looked around the church and realized there were other moms with similar struggles. She started a Prodigal Prayer Group that met on Tuesday nights. They prayed one year, two years and then three.

Mickey saw others’ children come back to their faith, but her prayers for her own son seemed to be going nowhere. Nonetheless, she continued to show up, joining in strength and support with other praying mommas.

I wish my sweet friend had a video camera recording her son through those dark days. I wish she could have seen Austin rediscover his faith, overcome his addictions, and see him grow into the godly man he is today.

But the reality is that Mickey didn’t have a video camera. All she had was her faith. Faith that was tested over and over.

She was aware of the realities of her son’s choices, but she continued to pray. She continued to believe. She had to make hard choices like setting boundaries. She had to listen to other moms whose children were not straying and who did not understand her struggle.

Mickey says that during that time she began to see Austin through the eyes of faith. She knew that it wasn’t in her power to change her son, but that God could be her source of strength as she stayed the course.

We often say we would do anything for our children. If someone had told Mickey that it would take years of praying and believing like she did without seeing any sign of change, I wondered would she still do it? Mickey says yes, she would.

Maybe you identify with my friend. You raised your son or daughter with love. You provided a safe place. You showed them Jesus, and yet somehow they lost their way. Today I want to encourage you. The Father loves you and your child. In Jesus’ story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32, NIV) we see a son who has hit rock bottom. He finally decides to go home and this is the reaction of his father:

So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ 

But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.” (verses 20-24)

Jesus told this story to illustrate the love of the Heavenly Father. The beauty of a praying momma is not lost in the chaos of your child’s choices. You are not alone as you pray, because He’s waiting, just as you are, to welcome your child in His embrace.

Dear Father, thank You that You love my child even more than I. I am not alone. You are with me. Walk with me today. Give me Your strength. Give me renewed hope and eyes of faith. In Jesus’ powerful, precious Name, Amen.

View this complete article at Proverbs 31 Ministries

Featured Blog ~ Oil of His Grace

Really good advice from a dear sister who is dealing with a prodigal herself…The link to her complete article and a video that will bless and encourage you is at the bottom of the page. 


Encouragement for Struggling Believers


Your situation, whatever it is, is in God’s hands! I have a feeling someone reading this needs encouragement today so let me share two things: 


1.) Don’t isolate yourself. If you’re facing a battle in your life you need AN ARMY! You need sisters and brothers who will fight with you and storm the gates of hell in prayer. Don’t allow the enemy to convince you that you should face it alone. Forget the lie that says you would be a bother to others. My dear friend – that’s what the body of Christ is for. To bear one another’s burdens! 

Look with me at what the Apostle Paul admonished believers: “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) Did you notice the last part of that verse? “Thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” This means that when you ask another Christian to pray for you, you are actually helping them! How am I doing that? you might ask. You are helping them to mature and grow in Christ-likeness! You are helping that person to “fulfill the law of Christ.” Have you ever thought of it that way? If not then I ask you to “chew” on that a bit. What a wonderful truth it is! Praying for one another is an absolute privilege. Right now I am praying for a dear reader and I count it a joy! So, please, if you’re going through something, don’t isolate. Instead seek prayer and counsel from other believers.

2.) Trust God yet ask Him for the grace to see a “glimpse” of what He’s doing through your situation. What I mean is this: We can only see the past and the present (and even then we don’t always see clearly). We certainly cannot see what’s around the corner. In fact, you might compare our present reality to paddling a boat down a river. We can take in all the scenery as we pass by, but we are never able to see around the next bend. 

Furthermore, on some days we paddle in calm waters, and on others we go through nothing but rapids. And yet, in calm waters or rapids, in neither can we see what’s just ahead. But I wonder: Why is it we tend to only fret about what lies ahead when we’re in the midst of rapids? When things are going our way – when the water is placid, the scenery beautiful – all is good and we have a sense of peace. Hey – we’re trusting God! 

But the minute the waters begin to churn….? Oftentimes when that happens we turn to self-comfort and our own (limited) understanding of things.

Friend, let me suggest another perspective for you. Consider this: While you and I are paddling downriver, only seeing what is around us, God is above – like an eagle. He has excellent eyesight to see the whole picture! Rather than merely having our “linear” perspective, He sees around the next bend in the river. But, even better than the eagle, God’s “eyesight” is so keen that He’s also able to see the end of all things
 
It’s easy to forget this when you’re hurting and you want easy answers. But His promise to you is to not only “work all things together for good” (Romans 8:28), but to also work all things after the counsel of His will.” (Ephesians 1:11) This means that not only is our God all-knowing, but that He in His wisdom actually allows the trials we face to come into our lives. They are trials “with a purpose.” His purpose. Dear sister, trust that not only is the Lord sovereign, but that He is also loving. Remember, the Word tells us that He actually IS love. He would never do or allow anything to destroy you. That is what the enemy wants to do. (John 10:10) God will only prune you (John 15:2) – which may hurt – but He intends it for your growth and fruit-bearing. You can trust your heavenly Father’s heart.
 
To read the whole post please visit Oil of His Grace