Now let’s be realistic – reconciliation might never happen. We all know of families who have never reconciled. God has gifted humanity with free will. He will never force us to do what we choose not to do. Free will is His precious gift, and He gave it to us, knowing all the while even He Himself would suffer heartache when those He loves exercise that gift to turn away from Him.
But, if it should happen, and the one you have loved from afar, the one for whom you have prayed perhaps for decades, wants to reconcile – receive them with open arms. Don’t ever hold their earlier decision against them:
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not . . . .take into account a wrong suffered . . . [Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Think back again to the Prodigal Son story. When the younger son returned home, the father ran toward him, embraced him, and threw a party to celebrate. “For this son of mine,” the father rejoiced to his servants, “this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; He was lost and has been found."
Life’s disappointments, its sorrows, its unanswerable questions cut deeply into the human heart. And as I said at the beginning of this essay, perhaps especially grievous is the wound caused when someone you love forsakes you.
God knows from His personal experience your grief. He grieves with you. But perhaps more to the point, God has also given us His example how to cope with our hurting heart.
Cry. Love. Pray. Be ready to reconcile. In doing these things, we will be following the godly path He has given us in His word.
It was the psalmist who said – and may the Holy Spirit sweeten those words to our wounded souls: “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5).