He looked for him from sunrise to sunset. Day after day he waited.
Why did he give him all of his inheritance when he demanded it? The old father knew his son was going to blow it away. And he did.
Maybe he heard about him from passersby over the months he was away. Maybe he knew in his heart his son had always had a streak of rebellion in him, a headstrong young man, knowing better than anyone else, tired of doing everything the old way of his family traditions.
In one big fit of rejecting his father’s ways, he demanded all the money that would come to him after his father died and set out to live the high life, on his own terms.
But we know how it’s going to end. He will blow through all his newly acquired fortune, spending lavishly on his self centered lifestyle and new “friends.” Until the money runs out, the friends disappear, and he’s left to support himself.
In this story of the Prodigal Son, the rebellious son ends up hired to feed swine in someone’s fields. Soon he hits rock bottom, eating the husks he was feeding the swine to survive.
Then he comes to his senses, and realizes how good he really had it. How much his father loved him. Longing for his home, his family, the delicious meals, and the traditions of his heritage, he heads home.
“But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him.” Luke 15.20
When he was a great way off, far down the road, barely visible to the eye.
His father intently studied the road all day long, day after day, for the little speck on the horizon. The father waited, with faith that one day he would see a familiar stride, and a longed for silhouette. He hoped with earnest expectation, trusted he would one day come home. The father watched with expectancy.
Can you see it? Can you see what the father is looking at and for? Can you feel the pain and emptiness in his heart for his long lost son? To be able to wrap his arms around him again, know he is okay, part of his family once more. Once separated but now home.
I know many of you have a prodigal in your life right now, or maybe several prodigals. Left to themselves, hoping against hope they one day realize they’re not on the right track, they’re choices are not good, they’re not in a good place, and they decide to finally come home. I want to encourage you.
To wait in hope.
To wait expectantly.
To not give up.
To trust them to God.
Keep on praying for them, keep on hoping, keep waiting, and look for the answers to your prayers each day.
Ruth Graham has a beautiful article written to encourage us with prodigals on how to hope and pray for them -please click the link below to be encouraged, and never give up!