person holding brown wooden cross
Photo by Gift Habeshaw on

My Aunt Betty shared the wisdom below at a prayer group. 

When I’d be praying for my students, especially the kids who were ruining their life on drugs, the hardest thing was to let go. When they’d come into the classroom with their nose dripping and their eyes watering, I’d look at them and I’d feel this despair. It was hard when the kids had just talked to me about how they wanted to get off drugs, and here they were looking like they’d taken a big dose. I’ll never forget this one kid. The Secret Police were in the classrooms to pick up the drug dealers that day. When that kid went out the door, I remember slamming the classroom door, because I had a free period. I went up to the desk and I banged on the desk. I said, “Oh God, where are you? He’s back on drugs again!” I’ll never forget it. I got this localized image of Jesus with his arms folded, leaning up against the door that I just closed. He was standing there with his legs crossed. I said, “Don’t stand there. Do something!” I knew the police were in the building, and they were gonna pick this kid up. The Lord said, “Betty, I can’t pay homage to false gods.” I stopped and I thought. Then I realized what He was saying. I was so caught up unconsciously in the need to save that kid that I had taken the role of God. I had prayed to Jesus asking Him to save the kid, but here I was acting like God myself. And Jesus said, “I will help him, but you have to get out of the way.” This was because I was an idol in my desperate need to see him saved. 

Despite the desire we have for the salvation of others, we have to die to the fact that we cannot save them. We have to give that over to the Lord, and get out of the way. Then, every time we think of the person, we need to let go of our anxiety or fear, saying, “God’s not listening,” and all that kind of crap that comes up in our mind. We have to throw that to the cross and say, “Lord, I place my trust in you. You are helping X. You are my hope.” If we have to do that 100 times, that is the way our prayer has to go. We have to stop trying to save people. I think that’s the biggest mistake parents and teachers make with these kids. We get in the way. 

There’s MTI: manner, timing and intensity. Give correction only in the proper manner, timing, and intensity. That’s where correction often goes wrong. It has to be when God is moving. That correction is proper. But a lot of us, don’t have the proper MTI. So, the correction falls on deaf ears or the correction can lead to rebellion if given at the wrong time, in the wrong manner and the wrong intensity. Correction is helpful when God directs it. But otherwise, it causes problems. Ask yourself, “Am I doing this at the right time? In the right manner? And what’s the right intensity?” Because if you fail on any of those points, the correction will only cause further problems. I think wisdom is given to us. We have to stop and listen. Like the day I was talking about that kid on drugs. What I should have done was cry out to the Lord for help. Instead, I had my mind made up how it was to be done. Here I am angry at Jesus, because He’s not moving. That’s a God act. I was being an idol. So, I had to repent for that. 

I did not go to faith and belief in God. I had it in my little head that with the police in the school that day looking for these kids, that this was urgent, that God should really move fast. I was totally out of place And parents can slip into the same role.

I should have simply imaged, thought or felt him going into the arms of God, and let God take over to help that kid. I needed to trust that God would be working with him, even though the police may have taken him to jail or put him in a drug rehabilitation center. It’s none of my business. That’s God’s business as to what was good for the kid. I had to get my limited understanding out of the way, and surrender to the Divine Will for that kid. That would have been the way to handle it correctly.  We got to remember that regardless of what’s happening in our life, God is constantly in this eternal and prime motion habitually engaged in our lives. Even though, in our limitations, we can only see what our senses can pick up. But our faith knows, God is working through this, even though our brain doesn’t have all the information and often gets impatient. We want God to tell us what He’s doing. With God, He doesn’t have to submit to our limited need. We have to trust God and believe He is working through everything. Trust and faith are the strongest weapons we can have in life.

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