What’s the first thought that popped in your heart as you read the title of this piece? Perhaps it reminded you of the book by Francine Rivers with the same title. I have read this book twice and it affected me deeply each time.
It tells the story of a young pastor who missed the big picture. He started out very well, and was eager to serve God. An offer to to pastor a local church in another city seemed like a great opportunity and he took it. Shortly after the move, having grown a little accustomed to the new environment, he got to work. He started a couple of great programs in church to bring in the young millenials, and things were going quite well. All the programs recorded great success, young people joined the church everyday.
As the work of ministry progressed, the further he was from his wife and son. The more obstinate he became with the elders. It would seem that the ministry was more important than anyone else. Naturally, he stopped listening. He stopped listening to his wife, he stopped listening to the elder who ‘hired’ him, he stopped listening to God and everything went downhill from there.
He also stopped seeing, he couldn’t sew his flaws, he couldn’t see his sin, he couldn’t see God! His desire to please men and to gain the approval of his father overshadowed everything else. His wife and son began to resent him, and without even knowing it he was becoming just like his father.
Out of love, the elder and his wife prayed night and day for this man to repent. They prayed and prayed. It seemed that the more they prayed, the more trouble he got into. And the more trouble he got the church into. The elder became a widower, yet he prayed. He was moved to a nursing home, he still prayed. For years, he was bent over double, praying for this young pastor to repent, and turn back to the God who had saved his soul. Eventually, he heard the piercing sound of the Shofar calling him to repentance. So much was lost in the pursuit of fame, but I got to see God work out the miracle of restoration through the pages of this book.
I was deeply affected by the story because it reminded about my own experience. One thing that’s strong on my heart even now is that people prayed my way to to the cross. And even now, I’m only standing (and will continue to stand) by the grace and mercy of a loving Father.
Sometimes, the Shofar blows gently, trying to get our attention and the sound gets increasingly loud to get past our stubbornness and pride. We (followers of Jesus Christ) have all been saved by grace, not by works and we cannot even boast about it. I would like to challenge you, to set aside some time to pray consistently for prodigals. This is because God wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth.
Share your thoughts about the book below if you have read it. If you haven’t, I hope you will.
12th July, 2019