Many years ago, a young man, age twelve, began his Christian journey. The same age Jesus was when He sat in the temple courts, reading to the religious leaders. However, our young man was still not resolute in his faith; he had just come to the Lord and was in the midst of internal war, in his soul. Did his parents know he was struggling? Probably not. But, the Lord knew.
That same summer, Ernie decided to steal from a major retail outlet. No, he was not in the store by himself, he was with his father looking at baseball equipment. His eyes focused on the baseball cards, just what he wanted for his collection.
So, instead of telling his dad that he would like to spend time looking, or possibly buying a pack, Ernie decided to place three packages of cards in his back pocket, without paying. He then told his dad he was going to the restroom, but he was not alone --- there is ALWAYS a security camera. Quickly opening the cards in secrecy, he was astonished when a Security guard met him right outside the restroom door, informing Ernie that he would be escorted to the office, for potential theft. Of course, young Ernie quickly told Security that his father was in the store. Despite a last ditch effort by Dad to obtain 'favor' or a 'break' from Security, the police were called.
Now, the boy's mother was unaware this incident transpired, until a week of so later, when an envelope arrived at the house. Addressed to the parents of Ernie, it was certainly clear from the police report and letter enclosed that a serious violation had occurred. Ernie was to report to the local Police station to sit in front of a peer jury. Now, this was the family's first (and last), experience with a peer jury, where the juvenile sits before other young people, mostly early and mid-teens, and is questioned. And that is just what they did...with questions, like “What made you decide to steal in the first place?” Along with the jury, the Peer Mediator (a police officer) listened and took notes. After much questioning, and a statement by Ernie's parents, it was decided to sentence the young man to 40 hours of community service at a local nursing home.
It was obvious that the enemy tried to prod this young man into a secret, lawless lifestyle. The enemy also tried to wedge confusion and enmity between the mother and father over this situation.
Remember, the mother had no knowledge of the incident. Well, when the envelope appeared at the house, the father said, matter of factly “I thought it was better NOT to say anything until the police report came in the mail”. The mother, on the other hand, said emphatically, “You should have told me right away!! This happened almost two weeks ago, and we could have been praying about this situation all along!”
As a Christian family, prayer and God's word were important, but not always at the forefront of daily life. Nonetheless, these parents sometimes disagreed about when and what to pray about; especially in these early years of walking with the Lord.
Make no mistake, the father believed in prayer, but sometimes had a different philosophy as to the best time to tell his wife about the son's occasional 'misdeeds' . In other words, not wanting to “stir things up and cause more confusion” in the home...or so he thought.
Through this difficult time, the parents agreed that prayer HAD to be paramount in their family, especially in covering both their sons, as the enemy always comes to steal, kill and destroy.
Ernie worked diligently at his community service with a favorable report given to the Peer Mediator. There was no adverse report filed at school and he never stole again. Through his teen-age years, Ernie completed high school and college, sang in the youth choir and played baseball. At the present time, he still collects baseball cards and attends sports memorabilia conventions as a vendor.
Ernie is also married with a baby on the way.
Jesus knows, as humans, we agree and disagree about many things, but that is why we have the Holy Spirit to lead and guide believers, even moms and dads, into all truth.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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