I won't give the details, to protect folks' privacy, but it was about a group of church-going people she knows. They are all parents. And, except for some that have only younger children, they all have, as she put it "at least one prodigal."
A prodigal. A child who has "left the faith." ...But did they ever "enter"?
A prodigal. Raised in a Christian home. Except for the grace of God, there go I. It could be me.
But I know parents who love the Lord can have wayward, unsaved children. I've seen it before. I hate seeing it, but I've known it's out there.
The word "prodigal" wasn't what hurt. It was these two little words: "every family."
Every family had "at least one" prodigal. Every family!
What is wrong with our families, that such a thing should be the norm? That it would be expected for young folks to be somehow different, somehow less committed, somehow less faithful, somehow more worldly than their parents? WHY? It's bad enough in the world, but how did the world get into homes claiming to be Christian? Why are "Christian homes" turning out unsaved young people?
These are my people. They are my age group. My generation. I want to slam my fist against a table; why must they be so wayward? Who let the standards slip - and where? Why are we allowed to have lower standards than our parents? Who taught us that it's okay to be more goofy and less spiritual than our parents - that somehow it's our right because "that's just today's generation"?
This makes me so boiling mad. I want to take somebody and shake them by the shoulders - just show me who's responsible! Who is stealing my generation? Is it the government schools? Is it television? Is it greed and materialism? Is it slackness on the part of parents? Is it failure on the church's part to preach the gospel? Is it us? What is it?!?!?!
I want to be rational and make this a very good post. That was my intention when I started typing. Now I'm so upset I can't think of what to say. I just want to scream, or punch something.
But that reminds me of something I heard in church this week.
First Timothy, chapter two. Paul is telling Timothy how to instruct the believers in his church. They are to pray for "all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life..."
Pastor got talking about the government, and reminded us that we are to pray for all in it, from the President on down. If God can turn Nebuchadnezzar's heart around, He can save Obama! (Imagine what that would do to our country!)
But the point I want to make is from verse 8; "I will, therefore, that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."
Without wrath and doubting.
It is SO easy to get mad when we think about this country of ours and the way our culture is headed. It's also easy to become fearful. What will happen next? Where will this generation end up? ...Yet here I am commanded to pray without wrath and doubting. With holy hands.
Don't you love the simplicity of God's commands? This brings peace to my soul, even as I sit here and read it. This is my solution. This is the answer; to live a holy life, and to pray.
Without becoming angry, and without becoming fearful. My dear Lord knows that I swing from one to the other. But I am to let neither have rein in my heart. Both of them would cloud my judgment, and keep me from living a holy life - having those holy hands.
Wow. What peace there can be in a heart in which there is neither fear nor anger.
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."