I just finished reading a captivating book called, Relinquishing my Dreams, by Sue Burrows and Tricia Bradley. The subtitle is “How to Survive a Prodigal.” This is the true story of one family that dealt with their daughter’s rebellion beginning when she was fourteen years of age. The book also includes survival tips in each chapter, biblical characters to study, and then it ends with a Bible study of twenty-six different Bible characters that will help one to have hope and know how to deal with their prodigal. It’s excellent.
It’s not surprising that one of the characters that the authors study is David. David had a prodigal son named Absolam. Though I haven’t done the study in my new book yet, I did just recently read Psalm 55 where David addresses the hurt and pain he’s experiencing because of a betrayal. This came in the form of an old counsellor of David’s – Ahithophel. Now this man is giving Absolam counsel – against his father. Wow! A double whammy!
David reflects on his relationship with Ahithophel in the early years. In Psalm 55:12-14 he says, for it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it; neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him. but it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide , and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. David is referencing Ahithophel’s betrayal in II Samuel 17 where Ahithophel says to Absolam: Let me choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: and I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid; and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only.
It wouldn’t be half as bad if we would read that Absolam cries out, “No! How could I do such a thing as to betray my own father, the king?” But sadly it reads instead, And the saying pleased Absalom well…
Is there any burden so great as the rebellion of your own child? How did David deal with this pain? We read in Psalm 55:16, 17 As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. David found comfort in prayer. He reminded himself that God would hear him. Note that he doesn’t just whisper a prayer, he’s crying out!! He’s desperate for God’s help and intervention.
None of us like the thoughts of going through something as hard as what David is experiencing here, but it will do to us what it did to David – it will drive us to our knees. It’s as though that burden is bearing down on us until we are bowed down. It’s that place where we realize that the greatest resource we have is prayer. Whatever your burden is today, whether you’re dealing with a prodigal, financial struggles, health issues, relationship problems or your own flesh, let it drive you morning, noon and night to cry out in desperate prayer. David’s God is your God. Divine help is on the way!
The resource table at Boones Creek will be making the book, Relinquishing my Dreams available soon.