Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God; sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you will also be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? (Romans 11:22-24)
I had a patient recently who was a lovely older woman and a devout Christian. She had three sons who were using and selling drugs in high school, and she didn’t have the means to put them in a private Christian school. They were bringing shady “friends” into her home, and she didn’t feel safe. Any money she gave them was fueling their drug habit. Out of love for herself and her boys, she had to make the decision to cut them off. All she knows of them is that they are alive but in and out of jail.
Cutting them off was the hardest decision she had made in her life because she loved her boys dearly. She told me that she prays for them every day and that while she is praying she pictures them as the fine Christian men that God created them to be.
God loves us more than we can imagine, more than my dear patient loves her boys. But sometimes he must cut us off. He needs to do whatever is necessary to make us return to Him. When we return to Him I believe that he throws a big feast for us in heaven as he grafts us back into the olive tree, just as the father of the prodigal son threw a big feast for his son when he returned home.