Relationships are costly– you can’t have one without caring, and you can’t care without, eventually, a tear. When our loved ones hurt we hurt. Hardly a day goes by without me seeing or hearing something that makes me want to cry. God has changed me over the years. I’ve gone from a “tough guy, I can take it”, “suck it up and move on”, “hard nose”, “we all have problems–get over it”, kind of person to , well–whatever I am.
Seeing my wife in constant pain for nearly three decades and knowing what I’ve put her through for 55 years, has given me a different perspective on life. Watching some of my children make ship-wreck of their lives brings tears to my eyes. Seeing the many members of the church I love suffer and struggle day after day is heart-breaking. And then there are the other stories–I could write a book, and they just keep coming.
Just yesterday I learned of a man in a situation that grieved my heart. I won’t mention his name or any details that would reveal his identity, but I can’t stop thinking about his heart-breaking story. Every time I hear his name my mind goes back in time and I think about him as a young teen preacher who used to show up just about every time I preached a revival meeting anywhere near where he lived. It was as if he was following me wherever I went. I could see his great potential, watched him mature, and was thrilled when he headed off to the mission field. Then, after faithfully serving the Lord for several years, his life went spiraling out of control. He lost everything and has never recovered, and is now suffering the consequences of his sin. When I learned where he was the day before I got the message, a day of great significance in his life, I wanted to bawl. I just keep wondering “Why?”. How can it be that a man could give up so much for nothing.
I realize that most of you don’t know this man, but I’m asking, begging, you to please pray for him. Pray that some way, some how, God will bring him to his senses, drive him to his knees, deliver him from his sin, and meet his spiritual needs. Also pray for others that I can see are headed in the same direction. His story ought to serve as a stern warning to all who venture out of the path of righteousness, but they aren’t getting the message.