Luke 15:24 – For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. (KJV)
We had the pleasure of having tea with friends one Saturday. I had noticed within the last two years that the husband seemed to be happier, more mellow, than he used to be. I always wondered what had happened to him for this change of heart to be so noticeable. He told me his story.
When he was a young man he was raised in a traditional church, but rebelled against church and the Lord and all that that stood for. He thought it was silly superstitious nonsense. As he grew, he married a lovely Christian woman who loved the Lord, but she loved Bob too. She knew she'd have to understand his ways, although it was hard for her. When he'd come into the room where she was reading the Bible or listening to her religious music, she'd have to turn off the music or close the book, because Bob used to get so mad. On occasion, to make Joan happy, he'd go to church when there were special events going on. One Sunday, the minister at Joan's church asked Bob to read a passage of scripture to the congregation the following Sunday. Bob knew he didn't want to, but Joan coaxed him, until he said "Yes." Bob went back the following Sunday and read it. He started to feel moved inside, just ever so slightly, but he felt something. He started going to church a little more frequently after that.
Now, not only has Bob started coming back to church, but he's actually become a member of the church, and one of the church leaders. The Lord has taken Bob's heart and let it blossom to be used in His service. Now Joan and Bob join in prayer around the kitchen table every day — something they had never done in all their married life. The Lord has given Joan the Bob she always wanted.
Although we need to counsel our youth to marry only "in the Lord", if we know of a spouse like Bob, we must never give up on them. Like Joan did, we must pray that somehow they will come to the Lord. With so many young people not knowing the Lord, and others turning away from Him, we must be able to show by our example that the Lord is still very much alive and pray for these people that they will find Him again. The Lord has not given up on them — they've just moved a little away from Him.
Prayer: Lord, let the hearts of this world who don't know you be moved into feeling your presence, hearing your soft, sweet voice calling and moving within them, and let them wake up to your love surrounding them. Amen.