What I’ve learned in praying for and loving a prodigal is that I can very easily set myself up for disappointment.
Or I can avoid disappointment.
But it isn’t by lowering my expectations, or by avoiding certain situations, or putting on blinders and ignoring reality.
Disappointment comes when I put my trust for my prodigal’s salvation in a certain meeting or certain job, causing certain people to run across his path, sending a verse of Scripture to her phone, dropping hints about church, suggesting he listen to a new Christian song, reminding her of Christian songs she liked before, or any other thing that I can think of.
See? If God isn’t the inspiration behind the idea, it simply will not budge him or her. I am wasting my time, means, and breath. And I am always set up for the inevitable disappointment.
I’ve put my hope in myself and my “brilliant” ideas.
When I plan the way to salvation, I am playing God, and it does not work. Only God can change a heart. Only God can open eyes to see Him and ears to hear Him. Only God can work circumstances that will actually speak to and touch prodigals effectively. Only God can tear down strongholds of the enemy. Only God can save.
So when I plan a nudge, I will be disappointed.
But when the Holy Spirit tells me to nudge, to speak, to be silent, to invite, to move, the plan will work every time! Every time!
I have been disappointed more times than I can count, but God has proven His promises are true, that He can move mountains, and that He can save.
Lowering my expectations doesn’t avoid disappointment, but following the lead of the Lord does. And my faith is increased exponentially as I watch the miracle happen before my eyes!
God’s way works.