Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Question!!! A Friend In Trouble

Hi, I have a friend in a similar situation as you were in your younger days. He has fallen into a violent downward spiral and will reach rock bottom if he doesn't accept help. How can we help him see our savior the Lord as a beacon of hope for a better life?!

Oh how I wish there was an easy button! As cliche as it may seem, I don't think there is anything better and more powerful that you can do for that young man than to pray for him.

Obviously he is, at this time, not fertile ground ... definitely not cultivated. Jesus tells the parable of the sower ... it would do well here to mention it. In the parable, Jesus speaks of a sower who throws seed in 4 different places: the wayside, the stony ground, the thorny ground, and the fertile ground. While we all can recite the analogies with ease, we rarely pay attention to another very important part of this parable: Jesus never criticizes the sower for his choice in where he decided to throw the seed. He never calls him irresponsible or even makes the slightest reference to the poor choices as many would define it.

Here's why (in my opinion). Because even the hardest and best sealed of concrete slabs today within just a few years can find themselves cracked to the core. In just a few decades, it can find itself a field ready to be planted ... and the reverse is also true. We have all witnessed farmlands converted to parking lots.

Prayer moves mountains. I would cover this guy in it. There were many who prayed for me that did not get to see me choose to follow Christ but ALL take part in everything I have done or been a part of doing. (Feel free to chime in here because I know that some of you are reading in!)

I would also lovingly keep sowing the seeds ... as much as he will allow without seeing you as intrusive.

What seeds can you sow? Simple things like inviting him to small group meetings whose focus is on coming off of the streets. Maybe finding events focused on that style of testimony ... invite him and bring him. If your relationship allows, weekly cups of coffee and share concern ... if he is not asking you to stop then the door is open and the ground is not as hard as it may seem.

A loving word goes so much farther than anything we can surmise ... it is truly powerful.

If he has asked you to stop or has grown hostile towards you ... drop it. Let your peace return to you. If you obey Jesus here, when the bottom falls out ... and he begins to truly look for answers, you may find yourself first on his list to call. If you allow yourself to become part of the problem, you will never be part of the solution. Remember that. We can never be more spiritual than Jesus.

I wish I could give you a clearer road map but only God knows the heart of a manand He never tells. It is our privilege to seek it out ... but that is a goal always left unaccomplished. Our joy is found in the striving to do it ... we call that a relationship.

You would do well to also consider that perhaps God is doing something in his life ... bringing him through a strict discipline so that he can truly find value in what you long for him to desire. If that is the case, your attempts to rescue him from the very thing God is doing to break him will be futile. That is why prayer is so important: because God will often times lead you to let it go and let Him work. Many people miss this aspect of God because they are so wired to believing that everyone is ready right now ... but I take joy in knowing that have loved ones coming under divine discipline ... because I know the end of that ... so I get out of the way!

That's my take anyways ... great question.

I will be praying for your friend ... please let us know when his 'condition' improves. 
I will also be praying for you ... I know your pain ... I really do.

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