Does God Execute Judgment with Earthquakes and Hurricanes?

Recently we have been witnessing some incredibly impressive events in our natural world. Hurricanes and earthquakes and floods, oh, and I also heard something about an eclipse happening somewhere. With these events, there has also been some conversation through the media and other channels concerning their occurrence and what part God might possibly play in it all.

Have you heard anything like this before?…

“Well, New Orleans got hit with Katrina because God was cleaning up all the sin down there…”

“God is punishing Texas with Harvey because they voted for Trump…”

And let’s not forget this one, though not associated within anything weather related – “9-11 happened because God is sending His judgment upon America for its ever trending loss of Biblical morality.”

These statements do, in fact, beg the question: Does God execute judgment today on the physical world through natural calamities as a way of disciplining sinful humanity? I believe the answer is unequivocally and undoubtedly, “No.”

Now to this someone might say, “What about Noah and the flood? Wasn’t that because of sin?” Or, “What about the plagues of Egypt?” Or, “What about the locusts in the book of Joel?” We could go on and on with similar examples. If we look at the Biblical record there is no doubt that in times past God did, in fact, use nature to discipline or even completely wipe out particular nations. In truth, there has never been a time when anything in the universe was not at God’s disposal in the case that He did indeed want to execute His divine and just judgment on His created world.

But it is my firm belief that since Christ came, and the Holy Spirit completed God’s revelation in the pages of the Holy Bible, that to say that God is inflicting mankind with specific storms as a way of divine justice is not only irresponsible but nothing more than mere conjecture. Here’s why…

1. Nobody knows what is on God’s mind unless God reveals it (1 Cor. 2:9-13). If God isn’t specifically explaining his intentions and activities, who are we to speak for God? To say God is doing this or that without Him saying so is really the sincerest form of blasphemy.

2. These statements people make about weather events or terrorism and God’s justice are also skewed to fit their own personal agendas. Far right-wing conservatives used Katrina to make expressions that suited their politics. Now far left-wing liberals are using recent events to do the same. It’s almost as if these terrible disasters that are killing people are being used as fuel by whoever is not currently considered as “in power.” It’s grossly inappropriate, entirely uncompassionate, and it needs to stop. As if anyone will ever be “in power” but God anyway…

I remember as a kid hearing people say that the AIDS virus was invented by God to punish the gay community. As time has gone on I have realized just how inappropriate and unhelpful that statement was. Are we willing to paint a picture of God that he himself has not painted? While STD’s, in general, happen because of sexual immorality – God is not using viruses to make a statement. He has already said everything He needs to say about moral activity in His word. His appeal is instead the grace of Jesus, which has come to all, to draw us to a lifestyle that loves and honors Him and Him alone.

And so what about natural calamities? They have always been here, and they will always be here. And I guess you can say in their own way they are a form of divine discipline. They are a reminder to all of us that this world is not our home, and that earthly life is only temporary. And they help us to count the good days as blessings and be prepared for true Advent of our Lord. Because, “He sends His rain to fall on the just and the unjust”, and because, “Behold, He cometh with clouds…”

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age”

– Titus 2:11-12


To Receive Every Article from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum

The Rains Have Stopped but the Flooding Has Not

I am typing these words on September 5, 2017. I thought I would provide that information for a couple of reasons. Neither of those reasons has anything to do with the fact that this particular date has any monumental significance. First, since I do not know when this will actually appear online, I thought it would be appropriate to provide a kind of “time stamp” for my thoughts.

I also provided that date because, as I type these words, Hurricane Harvey is beginning to “do a slow fade” from the news headlines. That “slow fade” has actually taken place in a relatively short time. 

It has only been eleven days since Harvey hit the coastline of Texas. Many of us watched repeated reports of the devastation it caused and the impact it had in so many ways on the lives of thousands of people. News reports about the physical, social, and emotional devastation caused by Harvey dominated the headlines, alerts, and updates for days.   

During the last couple of days, our attention has turned, at least in part, to Hurricane Irma. We are being told that this storm could also have a major impact on parts of our nation. People are watching, waiting, praying, and preparing. 

So, as I type these words, it might be said that I am doing so in somewhat of a lull between two (possible) devastating situations. As I sit in the safety and security of my house which has not been affected at all (except for some fairly heavy rain that occurred rather briefly), I am thinking about some “life lessons” suggested by all of this. 

I will begin my comments about those “life lesson” with a report I saw on the news this morning. The reporter began by saying, “The rains have stopped in Houston, but the flooding has not.” According to him, he was in a part of Houston that was especially hard hit by Harvey. 

There was no water anywhere to be seen. The sun was shining. Harvey was gone. The reporter assured those of us watching that there were still flood waters not far from where he was standing. 

Some of the effects of Harvey were clearly evident where he was, though. There were piles of clothing, furniture, etc. outside the house that was serving as a “backdrop” to his report. Some of these items were there to be collected as trash. Some, hopefully, were salvageable and usable.

Some of the effects of Harvey were not quite as evident. These did not become evident until the reporter interviewed the lady who owned the house. I did not know until the lady said during the interview that she was still without power eleven days after Harvey came ashore. I did not know that the vehicle in the background was not hers. She said it had been loaned to her by a friend. I’m not sure if she said, but the clear implication at least was that her vehicle was a “victim” of Harvey. I did not know a lot of things about how a major hurricane was still having an impact on this person’s life eleven days after the initial damage was done until I heard what she had to say and saw the signs of fatigue for myself. 

It is no exaggeration to say that this lady is literally trying to pick up the pieces of her life. She is also figuratively trying to pick up the pieces of her life. The hurricane had an impact on her and on thousands of others that has nothing to do with mortar, machinery, or money.

Thousands and thousands of lives will never be the same. Some relationships have ended because of death. Others have been changed in ways which would be difficult for many of us to imagine. 

As I type these words, I am doing so five hours or so after I saw the report on television. I’m wondering where that reporter is now. Do you think that he is still with that lady? Is it not more likely, that he has moved on to another story? After all, he probably has some responsibilities himself to turn in a certain number of reports on some sort of schedule. He could even be assigned to get ready in case he needs to report on whatever happens due to Hurricane Irma.

I’m thinking that this little segment of the news and some questions it raises in my mind might have a wider application than merely one man’s thoughts about something he saw on television. I’m wondering if this doesn’t demonstrate how we react to many things in our lives. 

As we go about our lives, some things that were in the forefront of our minds at one time may begin to fade. We might have been very concerned and even involved at one time, but that seems to no longer be the case. Our attention has gradually and almost imperceptibly shifted to other things.

Do you remember that dear brother or sister who lost his or her spouse? Do you remember how concerned and involved you were at the time? When was the last time you visited, called, sent a card, or even prayed for that person?

What about the family that suffered the loss of a parent, sibling, or child? Were you concerned about them immediately after that loss? Are you still concerned? Do they know that you are still concerned?

What about the person who is dealing with some very serious health issues? Were you not almost as devastated as he or she was when they first learned about the situation? Did you go out of your way to try to assist in any way you could? Did you tell them that you’d keep checking on them?Have you done so?

Do you remember those two people were about to get a divorce? Did you spend hours and material resources to try to help them? Have you asked how things are going lately? Do you know how things are going? Do you care as much now as you did “early on?”

Maybe you know somebody who actually got a divorce. He or she did not want one, but it happened. Did you do sort of “go the extra mile” early on in order to let him or her know that you cared? Have you done that lately?

I think you get the idea. I know I do. I know that I needed this reminder as much as (maybe more than) anybody else.

This reminder may be especially needed for those of us who may not be directly involved in a particular situation. After all, there are other things going on in “our world.” We each have our own relationships, bills to pay, trips to plan, jobs to fulfill, hobbies to enjoy, etc. The “shorthand” way of saying this, I guess, is that “we have our own lives to live.”

While I’m living my life, I need to remember the difference between the initial effects of a devastating life event and the long-term effects. The initial impact could be in the distant past. The long-term effects may never completely go away. 

As I sit in my comfortable house in Kentucky and feel no immediate or long-term effects of Harvey (except for a little extra rain), I need to remember that others were not so fortunate. As I listen to the concern for those who may be in the path of Irma, once again, I have no reason to believe that I will be directly affected.

However, there are people all around me who would trade what they have experienced – and are experiencing – for a hurricane any day. I need to do a lot better job of trying to keep the “slow fade” from happening as I relate to them.

I know that I am editing the television reporter’s statement a little, but the message is still the same. I need to be aware of the fact, that, in so many areas of the lives of so many people –

The rains have stopped, but the flooding has not.


To Receive Every Post from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Jim Faughn

Teach Me, Lord, to Wait

Teach me Lord to wait down on my knees,

Till in Your own good time You answer my pleas;

Teach me not to rely on what others do,

But to wait in prayer for an answer from You.

Teach me Lord to wait while hearts are aflame,

Let me humble my pride and call on Your name.

Keep my faith renewed, my eyes on Thee,

Let me be on this earth what You want me to be.

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,

They shall mount up with wings like eagles.

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint.”

Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait.

(Stuart Hamblen, 1953)

These are the words, written so many years ago, to one of my favorite hymns. Whenever my family is together, it is sure to be one of the songs that we sing. If our son is leading singing at any gathering where I am in attendance, he usually leads it, and receives a smile from me.

I love it for a lot of different reasons. I love it musically. It is simple, but it builds to that beautiful chorus which speaks to us directly from God’s word (Isaiah 40:31).

I love that it gives me direction for those difficult times in my life. When all around me there seems to be trouble, anger, fear, unrest…it tells me where to turn for my answers.

I love that it teaches me not to look to the world around me for answers to my problems. I can’t rely on what others in this world are doing because they are not the source of my strength.

I love that it speaks to every person, no matter what their age is, and tells them the correct focus in this life. When we keep our eyes on Jesus and His teaching our faith will be renewed every day (2 Corinthians 4:16).

I love the beautiful image of an eagle in flight. While Jim and I were in Alaska a few years ago, we went on an excursion to see the eagles and their nests. It was so interesting to learn about them, but my favorite part of that day was seeing the eagles in flight. Their wide wing expansion allowed them to soar so high and it appeared that they could just hang there in the air so effortlessly. When I put my trust in the Lord, my strength is renewed and I can soar like one of those eagles.

Can you imagine our homes if we would just learn to wait for the Lord down on our knees? We would deal with the problems we face in our families in such a different way if everyone in the home knew that we focus on Jesus for our answers.

Can you imagine our congregations if everyone there would learn to wait for the Lord down on their knees? Some of those problems we face as a body of God’s people would be eliminated because we would no longer be focused upon pleasing ourselves, but upon pleasing God.

Can you imagine our city, county, state, country, and world if all people learned to wait for the Lord down on their knees?

It begins with me. Teach me, Lord, to wait, down on my knees.


To Receive Every Article from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

We Cannot Water Down Baptism

You, like me, have friends and loved ones who are wonderfully sincere individuals, but who have never been baptized to put on Christ. We love them, but, at times, our love for them leads us to be unwilling to speak clearly and boldly about the essentiality of baptism for salvation.
 
Our Lord Jesus Himself stated that it is essential. He told Nicodemus, “…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). The Great Commission, given by Jesus, makes it crystal clear that one must be baptized to be saved from sin. He stated, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16; see also Matthew 28:19-20).
 
Peter, the apostle to whom the “keys of the kingdom” were given (cf. Matthew 16:19), made it clear that baptism is necessary. On Pentecost, he declared, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38). Later in his life, he would clearly state, “Baptism…now saves you” (1 Peter 3:21).
 
Paul, another apostle and the man who penned a large percentage of the New Testament, made it clear that baptism is essential. Of course, this came after he himself had been taught that baptism washes away sins (Acts 22:16), which Paul immediately heeded. So, as he exhorted churches, he wrote of the essential nature of baptism. Romans 6:1-11 connects baptism with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He wrote, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27) and that “in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13).
 
We love our friends and neighbors; of that, there can be no doubt. But are we showing that love by teaching them–from the Scriptures–that it is only through baptism that one is truly in Christ? Or, do we sidestep the issue because it might be contentious or might strain the relationship? We have no excuse to water down baptism. The eternal destiny of our loved ones is at stake.
“And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name.” (Acts 22:16)
——————————————————-
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

A Challenging Song

Lists like the following one posted by my friend, Edd Sterchi make the rounds every once in a while. His title for the list was:

“Hymns for the Sorta Committed”
I Surrender Some
It is Fairly Well with My Soul
Oh, How I Like Jesus
He’s a Little Bit to Me
I Love to Let Someone Else Tell the Story
Take My Life and Let Me Be
Where He Leads, I’ll Consider Following
Just as I Pretend to Be
Onward Christian Reserves
When the Saints Go Sneaking In
Sit Down, Sit Down for Jesus
My Hope is Built on Somewhat Less
How Neglected is the Book Divine
I Need Thee Every Other Hour
To Canaan’s Land I Hope I’m On My Way

That list might be intended to cause the reader to do a little soul-searching. It might be easier, though, to smile than to look into the mirror (or the heart).

There are some thoughts expressed in some of the hymns I sing that cause me to do very little smiling and a whole lot of soul-searching. For example…

Do I really want to be a “soul winner for Jesus every day”? If that is true, I need to ask myself when the last time was when I had a Bible study and/or talked to anybody about the Lord or His church?
Do I really mean it when I sing, “take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord to Thee”? Can others see that my lifestyle, my language, my wardrobe, and my choices of entertainment set me apart from the world?
Do I really intend to “work ‘til Jesus comes”? If so, what have I done for Him lately? What do I intend to do in the future?

There is one song that stands out above all the rest when it comes to causing me to do some real soul-searching. The words used to just sort of come naturally. I joined with others and sang them the best I could. All of that was before I took the time to consider what I was singing.

Now, I find myself really taking a serious inventory of my life, my motives, and my honesty as I try to sing…

Make me a servant Lord, make me like You
For You are a servant, make me one, too.
Make me a servant, do what You must do
To make me a servant, make me like You.

Really?

Do I really want the Lord to do whatever He needs to do to follow His example of service? As I consider my answer to that, I need to consider passages like the following:

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered (Heb. 5:8, KJV).

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed (1Peter 2:21-24, ESV).

One more thought comes to mind as I read these and other passages which connect the suffering of the Lord to my service to Him. This one really hits home (at least with me).

The decision to serve the Lord and others is mine to make. In reality, the Lord cannot make me a servant. The Lord can provide opportunities; be the ultimate example; admonish; etc., but He cannot – will not – force me to do anything.

We often talk of our status as “free moral agents” as a blessing. To be sure, that is true. I am thankful that we were not created as robots. I am glad that we have the ability to choose.

At the same time – as is the case with most (if not all) blessings – this one comes with tremendous responsibilities. The choices I make about those responsibilities will determine my eternal destiny.

Do I really want to be like Jesus in service?

Do you?


To Receive Every Article from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Jim Faughn

Episode 88: The Importance of an Organized Bible School Program [Podcast]

(Player not displaying or working? Click here.)

Adam and Leah are both passionate about the Bible school program of a local congregation, both for young people and adults. On this week’s program, they share some information about the importance of thinking “big picture” with the program, and some resources to help with that.

Resources

Bible Chronology Timeline [Biblehub]

The “66 Club” [Waterview church of Christ; pdf]

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free click here.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

Subscribe via rss

Find us on Stitcher Radio

Visit the show archives

My Mother Spoke at Polishing the Pulpit Last Week

Those of you who know me know that my mother passed from this life in February of 2009. It was right after an epic ice storm that left so much damage in our area. The loss of my mother, even though I knew she was going to a better place, left a huge hole in my life and in my heart.

You may be wondering about my mental state when you glance back at the title of this post. I hope you’ll bear with me as I explain. I also hope you will take the lesson and apply it to your life.

I was blessed to be asked to teach five lessons for the ladies at Polishing the Pulpit. The weeks of preparation that go into writing and studying these lessons are surely a blessing to me as I grow spiritually.  It is always my prayer that those who listen to them will also learn and grow.

While working on these lessons I began to notice a pattern in my thinking. I would often think of something my mother had taught me, or said, or done in her life.  She had so influenced me that it seemed like she was speaking through me.  I think there is a lesson for us.

What will your children or grandchildren remember from your life that will live on and be expressed to the next generation?

  • Will they remember a home that was full of love or just a place that provided a roof over your head? My home wasn’t perfect by any means, but my mother’s love made it the place I wanted to be. I knew I was loved there.
  • Will they remember kindness or harshness? I seldom heard an unkind word come out of my mother’s mouth. Her touch was gentle (unless you were being spanked!).
  • Will they remember being taught how to care for a home and those living there? You didn’t get to sleep in at our house. Since my mother had to work, we had to be up and ready for school early, and Saturday was the day we cleaned, bought groceries, and took care of the laundry. I learned at an early age how to do all of those things.
  • Will they remember serving others? My mother was the kind of woman who was sought out by those needing help. She nursed my grandmother (her mother-in-law) who lived to be 98 years old. She could care for neighbors, church members, and even pets that were hurt.
  • Will they remember you as a godly mother and grandmother? Godliness isn’t talked about much in our world, and yet, it is so needed.  I grew up living with a godly mother who fully trusted God’s word and always tried to put God first in her life.

This list could go on and on.  I don’t write these things to glorify my mother, but to use her as an example of the qualities we need to be instilling into our children and grandchildren.

When I stood up to speak, the woman who loved, nurtured, disciplined, and trained me spoke through me. She instilled faith in me that became my own. She taught me to love God over all else and to serve those with whom I come in contact.

If your child was asked to speak before others, could they speak based on what they had learned from you?

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)


To Receive Every Article from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

Children’s Devo Idea: The Image of God

Last Sunday evening, we were blessed to have the 9th Avenue K-6 kids over to our house for a devotional. I got a couple of ideas for a devotional and took what I hope was the best of them to put together the lesson for the kids. I’d like to share it with you for a devotional idea, or something you may want to do in your family Bible time.

For this devotional, you will need:

2 mirrors (one large and one handheld)

A picture of a famous person

A sheet of thick paper

The basic idea behind this devotional is that you are trying to help the children see that they can “reflect” the image of God wherever they are. Here’s what you do:

STEP 1: Hold up a picture of a very famous person. For our devotional, I chose a picture of George Washington. Ask who the person is. You may even want to play this up a little (for example, if you pick a famous athlete, you may want to ask what the kids know about that athlete).

STEP 2: Ask this question: “Is this actually George Washington?” (or whoever the picture is of). Of course, it is not. It is just a picture of that person. Build into the children the concept that what they are seeing is not actually the person, but an image of that person.

STEP 3: Read or quote Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Talk about what it means to be created in the image of God. In our devotional, we talked about how that means we have a soul, but also how that gives us the responsibility to be as much like God as possible. We need to have the same love, kindness, and so forth as God would have, since we bear His image.

STEP 4: Have a child sit or stand facing the large mirror and put another child behind him/her facing the other way (so the kids are basically back-to-back). Talk about how the one who is not facing the large mirror cannot see the other child, just like people will not see God without our help.

STEP 5: Hold up the handheld mirror for the child facing away from the large mirror (in the same way you might use two mirrors to check the back of your hair), but do so in THREE ways:

First, hold the handheld mirror backward, where there is no way they could see the other mirror. Ask, “Can you see him/her?” Of course, they can’t! Talk about how that is what it is like when we live sinful lives. People will never see God through us if we don’t hold up our mirror toward God.

Second, hold up the mirror the right way, but with a piece of paper over it. Ask again, “Can you see him/her now?” Again, of course, they can’t. We used this to talk about how we put things that are good (like sports or video games) above God, and it blocks our ability to shine for God as the major focus of our lives.

Finally, of course, hold up the mirror the right way and get the angle right where the child can see the other. Talk about how others need to see God through us.

STEP 6: Simply review the two major things you have talked about: (1) Each person is made in the image of God, and (2) we should not let anything get in the way of letting others see God through our lives.

I hope this helps you with an idea, and I hope your kids never see a mirror the same way again!


To Receive Every Article from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Your Problem with Religion is Your Fault

We all have a problem with religion. It may have to do with something we believe in theory but fail to faithfully practice. It may be a lack of knowledge concerning what the Bible teaches. It may be judging against what we see others practicing. It may be that we are disenchanted with certain aspects of the church, the leadership, the preaching, or the worship. We may be discouraged when other Christians are not as seemingly dedicated as we are. Do I need to make a list here?

We have a problem with religion! Well, guess what? It’s our fault.

1. It’s our fault when we are disenchanted with worship. Is worship stale or boring? If so it’s because our faith is stale and boring. Are we angry at all the churches that have left the true pattern of New Testament worship? Perhaps we are partly to be blamed for all of those times when we made worship unappealing because our worship was not authentic, driven, passionate, and expressive.

2. It’s our fault when we are not growing. How many people have obeyed the gospel this year because of something we did to help them? The average Christian in their lifetime will hear about 8,000 sermons, sing 100,000 hymns, participate in 30,000 public prayers – and convert zero sinners. Don’t blame the preacher for not being good enough. Don’t blame the leadership for lack of vision. YOU invite a friend! YOU conduct a Bible study! YOU proclaim the gospel. YOU are the church. YOU are what is dying!

3. It’s our fault when we look at the religion of others and show disdain. It might be true that some are incorrect doctrinally. It might be true that some are not dedicated. But we are looking in the wrong place if we want to make corrections. We need to look at our own religion! How accurate are we? How convicted are we? How Christ-like are we? How gracious are we? If we are truthful we can all look at our own faith and see plenty of problems and weaknesses that need serious work. It’s a plank/speck thing. Let God be disappointed with the personal faith of others. In the meantime, let’s work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

We live in a time where so many are disenchanted with religion. It’s because this generation blames outwardly while needing to look inwardly. We need to repent and change. The problem with religion is not God. It’s not the church. It’s us!

“…that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” – 1 Peter 1:7


To Receive Every Article from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum

Crying on the Inside

As I type these words, a new school year is beginning in our community. By the time you read these words that event may be ancient history to you, your family, and your community. 

For some families, this becomes an almost “ho hum” experience. It is just another year with more or less the same students, buildings, activities, etc. 

However, for some families, the beginning of a school year means that a child will be away from home for the first time as he or she begins the pursuit of a college degree. For others, the beginning of a school year is a time of transition from elementary school to middle school or from middle school to high school. These experiences are less “ho hum” than merely going from one grade to another. A lot of things are different. There is a certain amount of excitement and anticipation mixed with some apprehension and nervousness about the “unknown.”

For some very young boys and girls, the beginning of a school year means the very beginning of school of any kind. Up until this point in their lives, their “world” has pretty much been limited to their families and the activities in which their families have been involved. 

Hopefully, one of the things in which the family has been involved is regular participation in Bible classes and worship services. While this experience has prepared the young people for instruction by and cooperation with people other than their own family members, it really cannot prepare a young boy or girl for that day when he or she is left by a parent at a “foreign place” full of “strange people.”

One of the young mothers where we worship was telling Donna about the experience her little girl had during her first day of school. The little girl admitted to her mother that she “cried just a little.” Along with all of the other “first day of school emotions,” she said that there were a couple of other reasons for that. First, she saw one boy mistreat another. That made her sad.

Second, one of her new classmates (as she put it) threw up. Along with affecting her emotionally, it also influenced her decision-making. When her mother asked her who she sat with at lunch, her reply was, “Not him!”

What I found most interesting about all of this was the part I’ve left out of this until now. The sweet little girl told her mother that nobody had said anything to her because she had cried just a little on the inside!

I wonder how many other little girls – and boys – cry on the inside. The reasons for those silent and invisible tears could be almost incalculable. 

What challenges me is the knowledge that the practice of “shedding” silent and invisible tears is not limited to young people. I wonder how many people with whom I come into contact each day are doing exactly what this little girl did.

I’m certain that, when I interact with neighbors, some of them may be crying just a little on the inside. How many of the people I see when I shop, go to athletic events, etc. are crying just a little on the inside?

I wonder how many people with whom I worship “put on their Sunday face” and appear to be doing just fine, but who, in reality, are crying just a little on the inside. I imagine that it may be more than many people would suppose.    

They may have any number of reasons for the practice of crying on the inside. Those who do it may not want to appear to be weak. They may not want to bother others. They may, by nature, just be private people. They may be any number of things and have any number of reasons for doing this. 

Whatever the reason is, there is one thing that all of them have in common. They are hurting! 

People who cry on the inside need the same thing that people who cry on the outside need. They need somebody to love them enough to notice. They need somebody love them enough to care. They need somebody to love them enough to help.

Will you be that person? 

Will I?


To Receive Every Post from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Jim Faughn