In his letter to the Romans, Paul encourages Christians to “rejoice in their sufferings” because in our troubles and trials of life we know that hope and character are born. I have had tremendous difficulty with this thought ever since I first came to read it 40 years ago. Only recently has a new realization helped me know how to move forward and it came through the trials Brenda experiences on a daily basis. This incredibly difficult truth takes on a whole new face when we realize that real hope has greater power and finds its fulfillment in the we not the me. As Brenda struggles, I have an overwhelming drive to have my children know what a man of faith does when up against something difficult. The we drives me. Paul has Timothy by his side. The last thing he wants is to lose his authority with TImothy by bemoaning his circumstances. Because of Timothy, Paul must rise above his trouble. In an increasingly isolated world, the idea that hope is connected to the we takes us on a serious turn. Few of us ever feel like a spiritual parent to someone, likely because we have never been intentional about influencing someone for God. So perhaps Christians in the church today should take seriously Paul’s challenge to grow up. Who has God placed in your life to influence? Be encouraged, you are not meant to be alone but connected to one another. We are in this together. Pray for more than 20 leaders traveling to Fort Meyers in June to learn how to become intentional about spiritual parenting.
~Grace & Peace~