Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thoughts

Yesterday I heard a lady talking about something that hurt me like a knife in the stomach.

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.

A prodigal.

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.

Pray.

Pray.

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.


"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7


"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
Isaiah 26:3

4 comments:

Alethea Jordan said...

"rein" I saw this in there...


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

angeliqueshara said...

Amen! I just got done being angry over a sad abortion story I just read. *sigh* but I will pray for this girl and for her family.
Can you imagine what our countries would be like if we ALL prayed without ceasing??

wow.

Sarah Jane said...

I agree this is terribly sad. When it is "normal" to have rebellious teenagers who turn into prodigal children. It seems it *is* normal now! Parents don't expect any differently.

I've heard it said by many women I respect as spiritual women that children will rise to the expectations of their parents. I think beyond that we need to teach our children to strive to rise to the expectations of their Heavenly Father (assuming they are indeed His children).

Having been what might be called a "prodigal" myself I feel so much for those who are yet distancing themselves from God. I was a passive rebel, outwardly conforming but with a rebellious heart. This led to my eventual elopement with my husband (of whom my father did not approve). Thank the Lord for His mercy and that He ALWAYS restores those who confess their sin and desire fellowship with the Spirit. Thank Him for saving me and for Christians who were not afraid to speak the truth to me, even though at the time, it hurt.

I agree we should all pray more!

Regina said...

Mt. 24:
10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

I know how you feel, I get angry too. I think, though, the "falling away" is due to the fact that sin is so rampent that we, as a nation, have grown indifferent to it. The Lord told of these things but it is hard to watch.

But we can take comfort in these verses as well, Romans 5:
20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

I have a son that is 33 years old and is lost. I take my share of the blame in it as I did not raise him in a Christian home. However, my daughter that is 37, is saved being raised in the same home. The grace that saved her will also save my son, it is just up to him if he wants to be saved. It is the same way with those that were raised in a Christian home only to fall from grace, it comes down to what they want to do and whom they wish to serve. It all comes down to personal choices.