What do you do when your child is in a Far Country? How do you function day to day when communication is sketchy at best or normally non-existent?
It is difficult for parents, especially mothers, who have poured their life into these precious souls, guarding, protecting, helping them find their wings. Do we worry? Of course. Even when we pour out the burden of our heart in prayer, even when we have confidence that “they’ll be alright”. For many of us, we also traveled in that Far Country. We have experience there. We seek to console ourselves with “I turned out okay” or “I made it and I’m wiser because of it.” Or maybe those are the very things that give us the most angst, for we know that we are not really okay. We learned the hard way that the Far Country is full of wolves, robbers, and leaches.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” I thought it would give me some measure of peace. Not really. How old is old here?
While Jesus taught he shared a parable that often gives the parents waiting comfort. We see a father, evidently a caring tender father, being told by a son of little wisdom, “I’d rather have my inheritance that you owe me, than you alive with me.” In other words, I’m tired of waiting for you to kick the bucket so I can go do what I want to do without your interference, so give me my money and I’ll see you later.
How that must of pierced the father’s heart. But he gave the boy what he asked for, can he be called a real man, and let him go to a Far Country and learn life’s lessons in the School of Hard Knocks. Off the son went, with nary a look back at the devastation in his wake.
Now, we aren’t told what his mother experienced in this. If she were alive, I’m sure her eyes were faint from tears, her heart throbbing with sadness and rejection, her knees raw from hours spent in prayer. Maybe, she was spared this grief.
The Far Country seems like a place the cartographers have forgotten to draw in on the maps. But, one thing I know. God created everything. There is nothing hidden from Him. No one goes to the Far Country that God does not know about. He is even there, watching over and seeking His straying lambs. There is comfort in knowing that.