If you have been praying for your child for a long time, it is easy to grow weary and begin to lose heart. The Bible is full of stories of people whose prayers were answered years, or even decades, after they began to trust God for the answer. Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years to have a child (Genesis 12 – 25). Joshua waited 40 years to enter into the Promised Land (and the fullness of his destiny) (Joshua 5:6). Joseph waited 13 years to be rescued from slavery (Genesis 37-50). If God has put you in a season of waiting, you’re in good company. Many of the most impactful men and women used by God to tell His story experienced a long season of waiting.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you use your gifts and talents for the Kingdom while you are waiting. God has given you special gifts and talents to enable you to uniquely reach others for Christ. If you use all of your emotional energy pining for your distant child and feeling despair, you will not be using your gifts effectively for their intended purpose. When Joseph was wrongly sold into slavery and wrongly imprison (Genesis 39-40) we find him serving the very people who were treating him unfairly. When you serve others or use your gifts to honor God, you can find a measure of joy and peace in that service while you are waiting for the joy of reconciliation. Here are some examples of things you can do right now:
Pray for other people’s children. If you have a prodigal child, you are not alone. Thousands of parents are suffering alongside you. You won’t have to look far to find another family in your church or ministry who needs your prayers. If you ask Him, the Lord will show you who needs your prayers. You can join our prayer team as well! Go to www.unconfinedbook.com/subscribe.
Serve somewhere. There are homeless shelters, church nurseries and prison ministries that need you. YoungLives is a great ministry to teenage mothers. Why not pour into someone else’s child who needs you now? God often extends mercy to the families of people who are righteous. Rahab's family was allowed to survive because she respected God (Joshua 2). God spared Noah's family because Noah was righteous (Genesis 7:1). And of course the nation of Israel was blessed because of Abraham's obedience to God (Genesis 22:17-18). We don’t serve others to earn God’s love – but to show them His love.
Grow in your faith. Get all the wise teaching you can get. Listen to encouraging sermons. During our darkest years, we discovered the Daily Audio Bible app. We downloaded it on our mobile devices and started listening to Pastor Bryan Hardin read the Bible every day. We listened at night before bed, in the morning when we opened our eyes, and even in the car wherever we went. This is how we learned many of the scriptures we are sharing with you in this resource now. Isaiah 55:11 says that the word of God will prosper wherever He sends it and will always produce fruit. So, trust that learning to love God’s word will always be enlightening and beneficial! When you come across a scripture that really speaks to you, share it on our social media sites, to give hope to other parents.