Mark 4:17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
Recently, some close friends were attacked in their own apartment. They were young men, college students who had dared to live outside themselves, outside their comfort zone. Over the course of a couple of years, they had established relationships with younger guys in their apartments and had begun to help them with school work. Every Tuesday and Thursday had become tutoring days. Schoolwork, reading and math, came first; then they would play games with X-box or computers.
Their involvement in the apartment complex was having an effect. One high school student had accepted Christ and become part of a local church. Another eleven-year-old student had heard God speak to him about his attitude and changed his action because of it.
Then the attack came. In the middle of night, four armed gunmen broke into their apartment, pistol-whipped the two young men who were there, threatened them further, stole their technical equipment, musical instruments, and took one of the cars.
Now they are dealing with all the natural feelings that come after such an event: discouragement, fear, depression, and more. But to their credit, they are asking a question that goes beyond their personal safety: How do we keep reaching these young students without endangering ourselves unnecessarily? They are seeking counsel and prayer from older men as well as the wisdom that comes from God. These young men have caught the fire of classical Christian faith. Is there not a cause greater than ourselves? Is not the call of Jesus worth more than our comfort and safety. These young men have deep roots in Christ. Some of their idealism has been shattered, but the realism of their deep faith is growing.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he can never lose.
Somewhere along the way, these young men have been called to a faith that overcomes trouble. Their parents are to be commended; they have demonstrated to their children that trouble is part of the journey.
We as parents never want our own children to be endangered or hurt; that would be unnatural. On the other hand, if we never let our children deal with their own problems, work out their own relationships, and face their own fears, we handicap them. Hurt, rejection, pain are part of life; we all experience them. Danger is lurking around the corner for all of us. If we do not realize that, we are naïve. As parents, we must ask ourselves how we can prepare our children for what will certainly come at some point in their lives. We must see far enough ahead to know that our children will face difficulty and danger without us. Are we getting them ready for that? Are we helping them to grow deep roots in Christ? Are we sowing an eternal hope that will carry them beyond temporary trouble?
“In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
As parents, let’s equip our children to be overcomers so that they will not fall away when trouble comes.