In a trial of any kind, you’ll get all sorts of advice. Others think they know what you’re going through. But they don’t.
Friends want to help you. They really do, and they think they’re being helpful. People have the best intentions. But, sometimes they give advice based on what they think or feel and not according to what God says about it.
When in our prodigal season, close family members advised us in opposite directions from what God was saying to us. People think the prodigal son story gives us all the answers.
Let them go. Like the prodigal, they will return.
But, what about the time between – while you wait? What is God saying? What did the father in the prodigal son story do while he waited? Did he wring his hands, pace back and forth, cry in despair? Did he send messengers to try to bring the son back?
We received one advisor’s strong opinion based on a particular interpretation of the prodigal son example.
Turn your back on them. Have nothing to do with them.
That advice seemed like a simple solution for them, but it wasn’t that simple to us. In Luke 15:11-32, there’s no mention of what the father did – other than to wait for his son’s return.
When the son returns, we see that the father saw him coming from afar. He had been waiting and watching, in love and expectation, for his son to return. There’s no rejection in that.
While we didn’t support our child financially or otherwise, God directed us to remain in contact with our prodigal in some way. So, we tried to maintain contact through texting and phone calls – often with no reply. But, we showed her we didn’t reject her. We tried to show her that we love her – and that God loves her.
In your trial, you should carefully follow God’s instructions through every step of your journey. Your situation may have a particular component for which God guides you differently from what seems popular. I encourage you to seek the Lord and stay in tune with His guidance. He will direct you. Be sure to do as He directs. Don’t let others sway you from God’s leading.
This is my command—be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
Consider this a test of obedience. It’s a very private test between you and God. Remember, God is with you. Others don’t have a say in it. Only God does. Are you seeking His guidance, listening, and obeying?