Even though her husband was a godly famous preacher and she herself a devoted and godly woman she still suffered the pain of having a child reject God and all he was taught. Filled with poems, scriptures and illustrations from personal experiences and memories from others and herself. In this book she shares and comforts as only one that has been there can. A hopeful comforting book for those facing the pain of a child gone astray.
For all those who wander in the night and all who wait with the light on.
A wonderful and moving book - written by Ruth Bell Graham who herself has had two "prodigals" and understands the hurt and questions that come with it.
In her book, Mrs. Graham writes from the heart of a mom who knows what it is like to have a child stray from home, and our speaker shared how the book had been an encouragement to her as she experienced something similar with her son. At this time, my three children are young adults and thankfully they are all professing Christians. But I have more than one close family member whose spiritual condition I am particularly concerned about, so I set about getting my hands on a copy of Mrs. Grahams book. It wasnt what I expected: I was hoping for instructions on how to correct the situation (anyone who knows me, knows Im a fixer), but it turned out to be better than that.
Of course most of us are familiar with Jesus' parable of the prodigal son, in which the younger of two brothers demands his father for his inheritance, then goes away from home and wastes it all in selfish, debauched living. Because of our familiarity with the New Testament story, when we hear the word prodigal we often think of a loved one, usually a child, who has left home and family under unhappy circumstances, or one who has in some way strayed. In her book, Mrs. Graham shares true stories about prodigals, including St. Augustine and the hymn writer John Newton. Interspersed between the stories are poems and memorable quotes that express the heartfelt concerns and prayers of those who have a loved one who is lost. This poem by Mrs. Graham is a reminder that there is more than one way in which a parent may mourn for a child:
Be tender with, O Lord, we pray
the one whose child lies dead today.
Be tenderer, Lord, we plead
for those with runaways
for whom moms bleed.
But tenderest of all with each
whose child no longer cares,
is out of reach.
Of course every Christian parents greatest desire is to see their children walking with the Lord, and their greatest grief is to see a child turn their back on all that they have tried to provide and teach them. Mrs. Graham says that the term prodigal suggests wastefulness, a squandering of life, time, abilities, talents. As a mother, it is very painful to pour my love, time, energy, and resources into the lives and well-being of my children, and then see them waste what I have invested in them. Am I a perfect mom? Of course not. Perhaps I couldnt give my children everything I wish I could have, and I definitely made mistakes and have some regrets. Graham shares these words from Colleen Evans book "Start Loving: The Miracle of Forgiving":
"Our failures. Thats the hardest area, especially when they have affected the lives of our loved ones. As our children step out into the adult worldit hurts to see areas of need and struggle that stem in part from ways we have failed them[but] even these areas are part of the all things which God will use to make a man and a woman who will accomplish His unique purposes. So when thoughts of my failures push their way into my consciousness, I let His total forgiveness dissolve my regrets, and go on to praise Him who accepts us just as we are and lovingly works to make us more than we are."
As I carry out my role as a mom, I need to be sure I am doing it first for the Lord, in obedience and honor to Him, not for what I expect to get in return. Mrs. Graham quotes Samuel Rutherford, Duties are ours, events are Gods. When our faith goes to meddle with events, and to hold account upon Gods Providencewe lose ground. I must believe that God is sovereign in the life of my child, and that He has her on the path He has marked out for her and is working His will in her.
In one poem, Mrs. Graham offers a prayer, For all who knew the shelter of The Fold, its warmth and safety and The Shepherds care, and bolted She goes on to pray that, wherever, however far away they roam that the Lord will allow these wandering ones to experience cold, ill, terror, whatever discomforts and losses He deems necessary, and that He follow and watch and keep Your stupid, wayward, stubborn sheep and someday bring them Home!
If you are a parent whose child appears to be on a path that is leading him or her away from God or who is living in blatant sin and rebellion against God, keep praying and never give up hope that God may one day bring the lost one back to Him and to you.
For a slightly longer review with excerpts from this book, visit my blog: www.ImAllBooked.com
Ruth Bell Graham knows about prodigals- two of her five children were spiritual wanderers. From the pain she experienced as she prayed, watched and waited for them to return to " the fold" comes this well-written book....