In Luke 15 we find a well-known parable most commonly referred to as “The Prodigal Son.” The storyline for this parable of Jesus’ goes something like this:
Two sons. The younger comes to the father and asks for his inheritance. The father complies and a few days later the son sets out on his own for adventures new and exciting.
Many of us might identify with the father of the parable because we’ve had a similar experience of our own. The time comes for our children to leave home. They aren’t really mature enough in our minds, but the world beckons and they set out on a journey that will lead them into temptation and stumbling —sometimes even complete failure. We aren’t especially surprised by the outcome of their naivety since we probably went through the same thing ourselves when we were their age.
The one thing the father in this parable had that we’d want for ourselves was the fact that he never gave up hope that his wayward son would someday return “home.” How many times he must have looked down that road. It had taken his son away—he longed for it to bring him back. Again and again, his eyes returned to the horizon.
Time and again, the son was not there.
Still, the father didn’t give up. He continued to hope. He continued to pray. He patiently waited for the return of the son who had wandered so far away.
The day finally came when the father looked down that long road and saw what he was looking for. And that’s when the running began.
It wasn’t the son running towards the father. The father was running to the son. His prayers had been answered. The son who had squandered his entire inheritance had returned home!
Prayer, trust, patience—that’s the good message in this for us today. Our children may stray and break our hearts. But if we are diligent to pray and to wait patiently on the Lord, we have hope that one day we will see them coming from a long way off.