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Precious Prodigal
Today's Blog Post

 
 

There is nothing in the world more devastating
to a parent than to have a prodigal child.

 

 
   
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  April 11, 2016:  Letters to Susan Part 20: You donít have to decide everything today.
#‎measurethecost‬ ‪#‎thinkitthrough
 
 
 
  Luke 14:28 "For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?"

Part of this post is my response to a devastated parent who emailed me asking how she could help her prodigal.

(Note: Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the people involved.)

 

Dear Susan:

Loving someone who is acting out in destructive ways can keep us in crisis mode. And as if dealing with our feelings isnít enough, weíre faced with making decisions in the midst of crisisÖnot an easy thing to do. The good news is you donít need to decide everything today.

There are some things that require immediate attention, of course. Missy needed to be in the hospital, and that was an immediate concern. However, most of the decisions we have to make concerning our prodigals wonít suffer from our taking a little time to consider the best options. And, in fact, itís usually to our benefit to think things through before making a decision.

Taking a little time to reason things out, praying about the right thing to do, and perhaps seeking some counsel from someone who has walked our path are all good options. Theyíre certainly a better plan than deciding what to do while weíre half out of our mind with fear or anger. Often the decisions that seem the most immediate or the most pressing are the very ones we should defer until weíve had time to think.

Decisions made on the basis of our feelings (fear, anger, resentment, sorrow) are unlikely to be the best ones.
Luke 14:28 questions whether we would decide to build a tower without first measuring the cost. And believe me when I tell you decisions do have consequences, sometimes far reaching consequences, whether they are made on impulse or not. What do I mean?

After several years of promising myself I would plant flowers in the flower bed out back, I bought the plants and bulbs this weekend and started to work this morning. Knowing it would take a few hours to get it done, I started early, anticipating the beautiful flowers Iíd have in a few weeks. But it didnít work that way.

After spreading the top soil, I began to dig holes for the sweet little bulbs. However, I didnít get very far down before I realized something hard was in the way. Sure enough. There was a brickÖthen anotherÖthen another.

To my dismay, I found they were everywhere in that (potential) garden bed. I finally had to get a shovel and begin turning the soil over, digging up bricks as I went. And Iím not done yet. I vaguely remember putting those bricks in there to raise the level of the gardenÖthough I donít know why in the world I would ever do that! I obviously didnít think it through carefully enough.

In the same way, we often donít think things through when someone has broken our hearts, and the temptation is to react rather than respond. Thatís why taking some time to "measure the cost thereof" can be invaluable. And if we arenít able to do that measuring right now, it might be a good idea to postpone making any decisions until we are.

A lot of damage can be avoided if we leave unsaid the thing our emotions want us to sayÖor at least wait to say them until weíve thought about it and can say them in love. Choosing to trust God in the dark because of what Heís shown us of Himself in the light will keep us from deciding to walk away from Him when our hearts are broken.

The day is going to comeÖI promise you it willÖwhen your life will again be a beautiful garden. Taking a "wait and see" approach to what you say or do today can keep you from having to clear away the bricks that will keep that garden from happening.

Challenge for Today: What might happen if we, just for today, reminded ourselves that we donít have to make every important decision immediately?

 
 
 
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  It isnít easy to walk a wilderness path, and we who do often feel alone. But there is a God who knows our every fear and heartbreak, and He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. If you would like to know more about how you can have a personal relationship with Him, CLICK HERE.  
 
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  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing whatís right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, Godís Sovereignty, Godís love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigalís elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,  
  Accepted, Accountability, adversity, affirmations, Alanon, angels, armor, armour, arrogance, bail, Believing God, bitterness, blame, brothers, building, burden, carrying burdens, chaos, chrysalis, church, circumstances, comfort, compassion, complaining, content, contentment, control, counseling, death, Desperation, devotions, discouragement, Divorce, doing whatís right, dysfunction, dysfunctional, eagle, emergency, enabling, encouragement, enemy, envy, Examine your heart, exhaustion, faint, Faith, family, fear, forget, forgetting, forgiveness, forgiving myself, forgiving yourself, free will, friends, Friendship, Giving, Giving God first place, God, Godís Sovereignty, Godís love, gold, gossip, gratitude, grief, grieving, grumbling, help, helping, Hezekiah, honesty, hope, humility, hurt, hurting, jumping to conclusions, letting go, loss, love, love mercy, loving mercy, Loyalty, lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigalís elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me? lying, manipulation, Marriage, martyr, meditations, mental-health, mercy, miserable comforters, mount on wings as eagles, mourning, overcoming, poetry, poison, Powerful, Praise, prayer, press on, prodigal, prodigalís elder brother, quiet time, reaching out, Recovery, rejoice, relationships, religion, remember, remembering, repentance, resentment, Sacrifice, salvation, self care, self will, self-esteem, self-pity, selfishness, Serenity, Serenity Prayer, Service, Serving my generation, setting limits, sharing, sibling rivalry, siblings, sisters, sleep, Sovereignty of God, spirituality, Storms, strength, Survival, taking care of yourself, tale-bearing, thinking, thoughts, trust, trusting God, Unbelief, valley, Waiting, Waiting on the Lord, Why me?, Worry,