Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Prayer for lost lambs

There was a certain man with two sons......
Oh, the agony of that first line......because we know the story.

I have always said I can't imagine how someone deals with having a child who is missing. It's the not knowing that kills you. Though I don't have children, I do know how it feels to love someone and have them lost to you. I can only imagine that it is like having your whole heart missing. A piece of you....gone. Not to rest until that missing piece is back in place. Safe. Even if they were there, miserable, head phones permanently attached, slumped over and scowling at the table, that would be better.
Some dear friends are on my heart today, and in my prayers. They have a son that has been missing for over a week. They don't know whether he is hurting himself or maybe someone else. It's the not knowing that is torture. But I do know this, God knows where he is. He has you, and he has your lost lamb too. The hardest part of the story of the Prodigal son is the missing part. The heartache part. A father sitting in the window day after day, having to go about his work with a piece of himself out there somewhere.
And it must have been hard for the other son too, the faithful son. He was on the same heartache journey as the father, just in a different way. And all the time, as a parent you ask yourself the hard questions, how much is too much to give? And when does giving become enabling?  And possibly the worst one of all, what's it going to take for them to come to their senses? Just how deep do they have to sink before they hit bottom? 

"He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. Luke 15:16-19
God had to live that hard lesson when Jesus was on the cross. That day when the clouds darkened the sun, the sin of the whole world removed the Son from the Father. In that terrible moment, God knew what it was like to have a missing child. He understands your heartache and He is with you in it. He has your lost one in the palm of His hand.
God cares about lost coins, and lost lambs......and lost sons and daughters. But like this hide and seek moon, though they are veiled from your sight for awhile, they are not lost, God has them.....and you.

My prayers are with you today, my dear friends.

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