There is nursery rhyme that goes.
There was an old woman she lived in shoe,
She had so many children she did not know what to do.
She gave them some broth without any bread
and whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.
A gal has got to do what a gal has to do!
When I am at my wits end and don’t know what to do with my children I laugh when I remember this nursery rhyme.
That is how it is sometimes.
That was fine when the children were young.
How does one cope when one’s son or daughter chooses to follow the prodigal route?
I get encouraged when I read God’s word.
God is a parent too. In Isaiah 1 it says
Hear Oh heavens, Listen Oh earth! This is what The Lord says.
“The children I raised and cared for have turned against me.
Even the animals, the donkey and ox know their owner and appreciate his care, but not my people Israel.”
Israel were God’s children. He chose them and worked miracles to save them in the desert and helped them cross the Red Sea. He brought them into the Promised Land. But the more he blessed them the more they turned away.
Aren’t we all like that to our parents?
As I find myself a parent, distressed, I find comfort because God understands.
He has pain too when his children go astray and disobey.
God likened himself to a mother hen.
Like the hen he longs to protect his children from danger and keep them safe close to him, warm and comforted under his wing.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (Matthew 23:37 NIV), Jesus said.
Israel had many feast days and sacrifices they carried out, but God was not interested in them. He stopped listening to their prayers. He wanted them to
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
plead the case of the widow. (Isaiah 1:17 NIV)
God wants us to come to him.
If we have turned away he wants us to return.
Isaiah 1 v 19 says
“If you would only obey and let me help you. Then you will have plenty to eat. But if you keep turning away and refusing to listen you will be destroyed by your enemies.”
He wants us to listen to him.
How can one listen to God today.
Stop everything, turn off all noise.
Be still and know I am God.
Some people dread the thought of having silence or the idea God can speak to them.
They are frightened he is going to ask them to do something they don’t want to do.
If you don’t want to change then you may not be ready to be alone with God.
God is not up in the sky where we can’t find him.
Or at the other end of the world.
He is near in your heart. Stop and listen.
You will start out on a journey you will never regret.