There is a club that exists in Kosciusko County and everywhere.

It doesn’t have regular meetings because many times its members hide in pain. They stay in the shadows and don’t talk about their loved one who is far away from them and God.

Alcohol, drugs, pornography, to name a few, prey on their weaknesses. Their loved ones watch as they spiral into the abyss of despair and destruction. Hope seems to go out the window. Relationships are destroyed by neglect and abuse.

I am a member of this lonely heart’s society. I wake in the middle of the night at times calling out their name to my heavenly Father. Why don’t they change? Why like a dog do they continue to return to the vomit their sin draws them to? Why?

It seems at times when we pray the sky is built of brass and our prayers bounce off of its surface, not getting to heaven. But Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

In the story of the prodigal son, I sense that the father often went out and looked down the lane to see if his wayward son was coming home. One day a creature wearing rags and smelling like pigs humbly walked toward him. He ran toward him, not caring about the stench or asking about the mistakes he had made. Only hugs and tears were given.

That father had hope, though there were many sleepless nights. He had patience, though many times afflicted with doubt. Prayers were lifted above and they went past the brass. They always do.

Please be encouraged that God hears our cries. He can lead us through the worst of affliction.

Even when your loved one is down, they are never out because God sends messages and help their way through you and others.

Keep loving and do not give up hope, because Jesus can reach and heal the darkest soul through His love and mercy. Find someone to share your burden with and don’t tough it out alone. Hold on ... joy comes in the morning.

Ken Locke is community ministries director of The Salvation Army in Warsaw and director of the Greater Warsaw Ministerial Association.

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