It is heart-wrenching to realize that someone you care for is so far gone, that they are beyond your help. I had a taste of that feeling when I tried to comfort a woman who couldn’t receive aid at the Albuquerque Convoy of Hope event, because walking into the crowded building had brought on an anxiety attack. She needed so much more, but we had to fill her hands with food and show her back outside. That day I also prayed with three parents whose children were addicted to drugs. How could I find hope in these situations, or offer them hope?

With the same words God had given me as I prayed for my own prodigals: His arm is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear (Isaiah 59:1)! He has not forgotten the ones wandering outside His kingdom, “for the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost,” (Luke 19:10, NLT). Neither does He forget those who believe in Him and falter. If one of these dear ones should slip through my fingers and out of my reach, they would only fall into the palm of His mighty hand, where He holds us both securely (John 10:28,29).

And when my words and actions can’t penetrate the dark cloud over a loved one’s life, my prayers still do. It was in response to prayer that the Lord made Hannah a mother, broke Peter out of prison, and raised the son of the Shunammite woman from the dead (1 Samuel 1, Acts 12:5-11, 2 Kings 4:8-37). If your mama-heart is hurting today, I pray that you are comforted by the reality of a God who came to breathe life into dry bones. His arm was long enough to reach you and me, and it is long enough to reach all those who wander (1 Timothy 1:15). Never give up praying for them!