I stumbled across a beautiful butterfly one day on a blade of grass. Not being one to pass up on a close-up photo opportunity of an insect, I quickly got out my phone to get the camera ready. Feeling really blessed, I quickly snapped many shots of the butterfly up close and from different angles. I thought to myself, ” I wonder why it is letting me get so close?” I passed it off on the cooler weather, when all of a sudden my blessing changed and it tried to fly off.
Laying an inch closer to the ground then it was originally, it became apparent why I was given permission to be in close proximity. “Oh, a wing is broken,” I surprisingly whispered to myself. I tried to pick it up by gently placing my finger under its legs and lifting up, but it would try flying and stumble off. Realizing that I was probably causing more unintentional damage, I left it alone and walked off and decided that the circle of life would take its course.
With that image still stuck in my mind for about a week, I realized that there was a lesson God was trying to teach me.
A prodigal is like that butterfly. They will appear to be whole and complete and can do it very well. (In fact, we all do.) This comes from a spirit of pride which prevents them from choosing to be under our Father’s care. Praying for a prodigal can be very frustrating as you watch them walk further and further away from the hand of God. It then becomes our pride that tries to encourage change and in a way force the prodigal out of hiding and expose his/her broken wings before he/she is ready. Our encroaching proximity to their brokenness is threatening. They will instinctively try to “fly away” when we get too close. This is exactly what the enemy wants. Distance between you and them.
God on the other hand, does not force the prodigal back to His protection. He waits. He reminds. He nudges. He loves. He teaches. He disciplines. He knows the moment that it will all click, thus releasing the wings which humbly reveals the prodigal’s brokenness. It is at this moment, He will heal and send the prodigal flying to people that bear the fruit of God.
So my final conclusions of the Lord’s lesson to me were:
- It is ok to acknowledge that a prodigal, no matter what state it is in, is still a beautiful creature created by God.
- Trying to help the prodigal causes more damage, even though that is not your intention.
- Pray without ceasing, but walk away and know that I the Lord am God.
- Bear the fruit of the Spirit to attract any and all prodigals who are returning home.
- You have your own brokenness that I (God) need to work out, so walk away and check your own wings. 🙂
Let God be the Glory
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV