During their two week summer vacation at our house, my parents received a call from a friend who was taking care of their dogs, Rico and Roxy.
“I’m so sorry. We looked everywhere. Roxy is gone.”
My mom grieved, reminiscing about how Roxy had been rescued from an abusive home almost ten years ago. “What if someone hurts her?” My mom brushed tears from her cheeks. “Most people won’t understand that she growls when she’s scared.”
Four prayer filled days after they received that call they headed home to search for their runaway pup. For weeks my brother-in-law, my mom, and my niece canvased their neighborhood. Night after night, they returned home empty handed.
The prayerful search continued for over three weeks before the Lord blessed us with a glimpse of a rainbow through the dark clouds.
In the fourth week of the search, my mom met a friend on the walking trail. “I just want some kind of closure,” my mom said.
“I saw a little brown stray in my niece’s neighborhood a few days ago. She lives a few blocks from your house.”
After hugging her friend, my mom rushed home to share the good news. Could it be that Roxy was trying to find her way home?
The whole family, along with some kind neighbors, combed the streets with newfound fervor.
Eliza, my eight-year-old niece, rode with my mom. She called out the window, her voice hoarse, as they scoured the neighborhood. “Roxy. Roxy. Roxy.”
Pulling over to the side of the road, my mom prayed. “Please, God, help us find Roxy. But if Your answer is no, please give us strength to cope with our loss.”
The only break in the silence as they drove home was my niece’s cracking voice, now barely a whisper between soft sobs. “Roxy.”
As they parked in the driveway, a honking horn caught their attention. My brother-in-law pulled up in front of the house and leaned over to open the passenger door.
Roxy hopped out of the car and raced toward my mom and my niece.
Her tail fanned. Her body wiggled. Her tongue flapped over the side of her mouth as she panted.
After three weeks of continual prayer, my mom’s prodigal pup returned home. Praise the Lord! But I’ve learned from experience that, sometimes, it feels like our beloved prodigals will be lost forever.
For seven years, my husband and I prayed for our prodigal son as he wandered in the wilderness of worldly living.
I prayed the Lord would help him find his way back, no matter what!
That bold prayer was followed by our son’s two-year incarceration and choices that led him further away from God and from our family.
My heart hardened with hurt and resentment. But after much prayer, God convicted me and changed my prayers. I repented for my sinful attitude that let bitterness take root in my heart. I released the situation into God’s capable hands.
I began to pray for reconciliation. And this time, I meant it.
Months passed and there was no attempt from our son to make things right. I kept on praying. But, even though the Lord had placed it on my heart several times, I never made a true effort to reach out to him until I had no other choice.
On December 7, 2012 my husband writhed in pain in the local emergency room. The doctor affirmed that my husband needed to have his appendix removed.
I texted my step-son.
A few hours later, my husband was in the operating room, friends joined me for prayer in the hospital, and the Lord brought our prodigal home.
We spent Christmas with him and his fiancé.
Praise the Lord!
The story of the Prodigal Son, in Luke 15:11-32, reminds me of how God welcomes His lost sheep with joy after they’ve returned to his pasture of protection.
Roxy’s journey demonstrates how the Lord blesses us as we surrender to His will.
And my prodigal experience affirms how vital it is to allow the Lord to change my own heart as I trust Him to work in the hearts of others.
Each story is a unique example of how God hears and answers prayers according to His perfect timing and in accordance with His perfect will.
Thank You, Lord, for showing us time and again that You never forget us or leave us, even when we wander away from Your loving grace.
How did God help you as you waited for a lost puppy, or person, to find their way home?
I’d love to hear how the Lord worked as you prayed, or how He is working as you continue to pray your prodigal home.
This story was written as told to me by my mother, our family Prayer Warrior. We’re thrilled that Roxy is safe at home and back to her old tricks, snoring on her warm pillow and stealing blankets from my dad as he sleeps.