To the Prodigals

Psalm 119:40 – “How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness.”

Not long ago I had a conversation with a father who was clearly distressed. His child had made one bad decision after another. She had once walked closely with God. She was active in inviting her friends to church and had even seen many of her friends come to faith in Jesus. Something happened along the way. Seduced by the lure of the world, this girl ran from God. Today, she is addicted to drugs and alcohol. She has watched her life spiral out of control. She is finally ready to give God control of her life. She knows that the things that she has been chasing are killing her.

I had a conversation with another father some time ago. He too was distressed, but his distress stemmed from a marriage that was falling apart. He felt helpless as he watched his wife make one poor decision after another. Her embrace of alcohol, rejection of her husband and children, and denial of the faith was wreaking havoc on her life, and the life of everyone that she once claimed to love.

Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’ve run from God. Maybe you are there today.

In Psalm 119:40, David cried out, “How I long for Your precepts!” When does one long for the law of God? Often times it’s when we realize that we need God’s touch in our life more than ever. It’s when we are at the end of our rope. It’s when we are drowning and we need a lifeline to pull us in.

It’s Peter, who jumped out of the boat to walk with Christ on water, and then took his eyes off Christ and began to sink.

It’s the Prodigal Son who wasted his inheritance and then while dining with the pigs realized that he desperately needed his father’s forgiveness.

It’s my friend Joe, who battle drug addiction. He has been in and out of rehabilitation more times than I can count. When he’s clean there is no one like him for zeal for the Lord. And, when he’s not, it’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.

To the prodigals out there, and if we are true to ourselves we know we’re all prodigals from time to time, remember that when we walk with the Lord, when we follow Him, we experience life to the full. When we don’t we trade the glory of heaven for the temporal satisfaction of hell.

Do you know what will preserve the life of the prodigal daughter and prodigal wife that I mentioned earlier? The same thing that David said in verse 40. It’s following God. Both of these women are so close to losing everything because they want to live life without regard to God’s standards. I pray that they’ll be healed. I pray that they’ll come back. And, I pray that all of us prodigals will run back to the Father.

Dear God,

Thank you that you love prodigals. Thank you that none of us have ventured so far that we enter back into Your arms. Help us to live for you. Help my prodigal friends. Help us to long for you, like David did.

In Jesus’ name,


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