th (1)Have you ever had a child make a decision you knew was wrong and you couldn’t do anything about it? Yesterday, I received a panicked phone call from one of my girls in treatment. She said she was being kicked out of the program.  Thankfully, I’ve developed a great relationship with the program and know for certain they wouldn’t ever just kick someone out.  They are for the girls, for restoration and for the things of God.

After a few phone calls with both the program and her, I learned they were basically telling her she needed to go into one of their other locations that offered more structure.  That sounded like good news until she flatly refused to do it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make her do it, even though I knew it was the best choice for her. I have no biological connection to her, even though in my eyes she’s one of mine.  Plus, she’s legally old enough to make her own choices, no matter how poor they may be for herself.

It’s human nature to start asking questions in a situation like this.  Why? How could this happen? Where would she go? What would happen to her? Many times people turn to God when the questions begin formulating and look to Him to provide all the answers and to do something in the situation.  If it works out well, they’ll praise God, but if it works out poorly, they’ll blame Him.

I’ve come to realize when bad things happen, it’s often because someone has chosen to step outside of God’s plan and take matters into their own hands. God doesn’t bring bad things upon us.  That would go against His character.  God is good and He has good plans for His children [Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 7:11].  If we know that in our heart, then when bad things happen, we don’t point the finger at Him.

I know the Lord has amazing plans for my precious girl, but He is a gentleman and He will not force Himself on her as every other man has done in her life.  He will extend His hand to her and wait for her to choose Him.  No matter how long or how far she runs, He will be there.  Psalm 139:7-12 reminds of this truth,

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

So, today, while I will wonder where my precious one is and how she’s doing, I’ll prayerfully trust her to the Lord.  He loves her even more than I do.  He will not leave her nor forsake her [Deuteronomy 31:6, 8].  She can run as hard and as fast as possible, but He make the journey with her and be there when she arrives, hand extended, waiting, loving and longing.

Do you have a prodigal in your life? Someone who is making poor choices for themselves? Someone who keeps you up late at night crying out to the Father?  Rest in knowing He hears you and He sees them [Hebrews 4:13].  Keep praying, keep loving, keep waiting. You’re never more like Jesus.