Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Be Still and Know

God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble. “Stand silent! Know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation in the world!”  Psalm 46:1, 10

Clouds hung heavy above me as I walked my dogs down the street. Gray skies depicted my mood. I felt bombarded by life’s twists and turns. “Enough already, Lord,” I cried out as I prayed. 

My prayer became one-sided as I poured out my needs. Unexpectedly I felt a tug on my arm from the dog leash in my hand. I had gotten ahead of my dogs. I turned around and noticed my old golden retriever sniffing some daisies. “Let’s go, come on, I’m in a hurry,” I said rather loudly.

I remembered an old cliche as he inhaled fragrances. Stop and smell the roses. 

“God, you sure have a way of getting my attention,” I said. 

I stared in silence as my pet savored the scents in the air. God’s Word filled my heart and head.


“Okay, I hear you, Lord.”

I continued my walk in silence. My needs forgotten. The beauty of the earth all around me. Praises to my Creator filled my thoughts.

Thank you, Father God, for your eternal Word that stands firm in the heaven (Psalm 119:89). Your Word is alive and powerful (Hebrews 4:12). Your promises are pure (Psalm 12:6) and your Word is truth (John 17:17). You are Truth, Jesus (John 14:6), and the truth will set me free (John 8:32). Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, AMEN. 

So what if life throws jabs? Am I going to tuck tail and run? Or stand firm and fight? Everything is not rosy all the time. There will be cloudy days, but the sun remains in the sky. I may experience troubles, but the Son of God stays by my side. Sorrow and joy are part of living and loving. Will I allow pain and pessimism to ruin my day, ruin me?

No. No! NO! If God stands with us, who or what can come against us?

What can we ever say to such wonderful things as these? If God is on our side, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all, won’t he also surely give us everything else?  Romans 8:31-32 (TLB)

Yes, things happen. The busyness of life distracts us. Peace fades. Things turn from gray to black, and quickly. Chaos begins to take hold. Clouded minds give rise to pain-filled hearts. Tears flow. Life seems unfair. And we wonder—where is God?

We should remember Who He is. He’s our Rescuer. Deliverer. Savior. Redeemer. Provider. Those clouds are the dust of His feet (Nahum 1:3). He is Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:14). And He never leaves us (Hebrews 13:5). Is it possible we left Him?

Stop. Be still. Focus on the God of heaven and earth. Listen for His whisper. Lift up a prayer of praise to Him. Before too long, you’ll see Son rays beaming through those cloudy skies. 

The Lord is good. When 
trouble comes, he is the 
place to go! And he 
knows everyone who 
trusts in him!  
Nahum 1:7 (TLB)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Refreshed and Restored

I tasted the grit between my teeth. Felt dirt in my eyes. Swirls of dust surrounded my feet as I walked. The wind picked up pockets of earth, covering everything in its path. As I began to cough, I realized my dry throat needed water. A desert experience desires refreshment. 

Today we celebrate mothers. Oh the joys and pains of a mother’s heart. When a woman gives birth to a child, a mighty bond emerges. The connection is instant and lasts forever. Love swells to near explosion. Until detonated with rejection. A prodigal child turns away. And a heart breaks, becoming brittle from the dust left in the wake of desertion. A shattered heart longs for restoration. 

Meanwhile adventures sought after by the prodigal diminish. Things go awry. Life damages the spirit. Self-inflicted injury pierces the heart. Filth and anguish fill in the gap. And the wounds of a soul deepen. A wilderness walk calls for relief. 

Refreshment. Restoration. Relief. Balm for troubled spirits. Is comfort available for an anxious soul? Can a broken heart be consoled? Is it possible to live cheerfully again?

Yes. Yes. Yes and Amen. 

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:19-20 (NIV)

Jesus is the answer. He offers refreshment with living water (John 4:14). He provides restoration in green pastures (Psalm 23:2-3). He supplies salve to restore souls. He pours out ointment for comfort. Because of love, His rod corrects and His staff leads to a right path. He walks with you through the valleys. He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5).

These promises are found in God’s Word. They are words of truth. Jesus spoke them with assurance as He ministered to individuals and crowds. And He speaks them to us today. Through faith, we can live in His promises. 

Jesus stands ready to deliver you from guilt and grief. Can you hear Him knocking? Will you answer?

Use the key of forgiveness and let Him in. With humility, forgive others. Forgive yourself. He will forgive you. Allow His comfort to heal your wounds. Feel refreshed. Be restored. Live in joy. 

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

“Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me.  
Revelation 3:20 (TLB)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Distress and Discontent

Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were about four hundred men with him.  1 Samuel 22:2 (NASB)

He was on the run while only a step away from death. He had served the king well, yet his life hung in the balance. Even though God favored him, the king wanted him dead. He needed safety and security.

It looked bad, really bad, as King Saul threatened the life of David. A new king waited in the wings and the old king was jealous. Saul had rejected the Word of the Lord and now God rejected him as king of Israel. 

The Lord God selected a new king and sent the prophet Samuel to the house of Jesse. When Samuel faced Jesse’s son David, the Lord said to anoint him. As the oil cascaded onto David’s head and down his face, the Spirit of the Lord fell mightily on David. 

Even though David waited for his kingship in God’s time, everything he touched seemed to turn to gold. One success followed another. And Saul’s jealousy swelled to murderous hatred. David feared for his life and ran to the protection of a cave. 

Oh the wounds David endured—fear of death at the hands of the king, betrayal by his own family, self-inflicted hurts when he disobeyed the Lord. Yet the anointing from the Spirit of the Lord also comforted him. David knew the Lord as Helper, Advocate, Shepherd, Friend. He trusted God and his life bore testimony to God’s faithfulness. 

In his neediness, David drew closer to his Heavenly Father. Evidence of a mighty power exuded from his life. His praises rang out to the Lord God of heaven and earth. The proof of power in David’s life drew others to him. Those in distress, in debt, and discontented gathered to him at the cave of Adullam. And David became captain over four hundred men. In the midst of his own cloudy calamity, David met the goodness of God. 

David had declared he was only a step away from death, but the Lord God Himself walked every step with him. With praise to his Shepherd, David penned these beautiful words:

Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.  Psalm 23:4 (NIV)

David experienced life’s distress and discontent. But the Lord dwelt with him and gave him peace. Others who encountered hard times saw the power that surrounded David. They followed his lead while the Lord led him. Even in tough times, they felt the peace of the Lord.

Despair. Distress. Discontent. Are you down in the dumps? Walking a dark valley? Have no fear for the Lord your God is near. Turn to Him and offer Him praise. He stands ready to comfort you and give you peace.  

“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’  Numbers 6:24-27 (NIV)