When we read about the Prodigal Son, our focus is usually on God’s amazing love, which is demonstrated by the father in the parable. We delight in knowing that the Lord responds to us the same way when we stray from Him. But today, I want to look at our responsibility to love others. No matter how difficult the situation, God has given believers in Christ the capacity to respond with this same kind of love.
Let go. Though he had every right to refuse his second son’s foolish request, this father understood that the young man had already left home in his heart. There may be times in our lives when the most loving thing we can do is also the most difficult—to step back and let a loved one go his or her own way. When you hang on and try to control the outcome, you may actually get in God’s way.
Wait. Once we have let go, we must then wait patiently for the Lord to do His work in that person’s life. Did you notice that the father didn’t go to search for his son? Even though he knew that pain and trouble would follow such a foolish decision, he chose to trust God instead of trying to fix the situation and protect his son from the consequences of his unwise choice.
The only way you can respond like this is to have confidence in the Lord’s good plans for the one you’re concerned about. He loves that person more than you can comprehend and understands the best way to reach a resistant heart. Your job is to watch and pray until God brings the prodigal to his or her senses.