I have been on the road for the last two weeks doing ministry in various places. I have spoken at an outreach event at a community center, at two Gideon conventions in Arkansas and Oklahoma, at a men’s breakfast, a youth group and a Church in Arkansas. I spoke to two groups of men in the detention center in Arkansas as well as a teen challenge in the same state, and at both many men responded to the Gospel.
But of all the speaking events, not just in the last two weeks, but in the last two years, my favorite places, but yet the most difficult places I get to speak at, are the schools.
Two weeks ago I had the honor of speaking at three more schools including an after-school rally. These are the hardest places to speak for two reasons. One, I am forced to keep Jesus out of my vocabulary and cannot talk on matters of faith. Secondly, there is so much pain and hurt in many of these students and cannot address the issues the way they need to be addressed, and that is with Jesus and the Gospel.
I cannot go into detail of what transpired at one of the schools, but let’s just say that suicide was brought up in a very real way. Every time I go to schools I start with asking the kids three questions. I tell them to stand up and only sit down if the question applies to them. The first question I ask is who has had someone in their immediate family, extended family or a close friend who has committed suicide. The number of students who respond is staggering. Then, when I ask who knows a family member or close friend who is currently suicidal, those numbers will give you the chills.
The other two questions are asking if they have or have had a family member or close friend who has been or currently is in jail/prison or on probation/ parole. Then I ask if they have had or currently have a family member or close friend who has had drug/alcohol addictions or currently has addictions.
By the time I ask these three questions, there is typically less than a dozen students left standing. Our children shouldn’t be dealing with these issues. They have their own issues to deal with, and dealing with these types of problems on top of their normal childhood problems has got to be difficult. So difficult that our kids are lost, confused, and one of the reasons many are choosing to end their lives.
Every time I finish a talk at a school there are so many kids that come to me with tears, wanting hugs, and sharing some monstrous things going on in their lives. You can see the pain in their eyes, and the NEED for answers or at least someone to share their struggles with who might understand. There’s a need there all right, but it’s a need that can only be filled with Jesus.
At the after-school rally over 315 students showed up. At this event we were able to share the truth of Jesus Christ, and that He is the only Way to find purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction in life. He is the ONLY one who can fill the void, and the only one who understands what they are going through, and the Only one who can help them through whatever struggles they are dealing with. At the end of the night, there were less than 40 students left sitting in their seats, the rest were up front in tears, crying out to God, knowing they needed something other than the nothing they currently had. These kids are yearning for something to go to, someone to cry out to, someone to help them get through what they are going through, but we have to keep that person out of our schools, and the parents are failing miserably at seeing these kids are taught about Jesus Christ. Therefore, they seek what they need in worldly ways, counseling, programs, treatment centers, all the other things where the answer to their problems is also kept away – Jesus!
We are failing as parents, our schools are failing us, yet we throw up our hands and wonder what could possibly be wrong with our children. Jesus Christ is THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life, and until we understand that and make that part of our kids’ lives, our problems with our children are only going to continue to get worse. Balls in your court, your kids are your responsibility, it’s time to love them the way Jesus does and love them enough to tell them about the One who created them and the One who can truly Counsel them, the only One where they can find their purpose in life through! That void your children feel – It can only be filled by Jesus Christ!
Jer. 33:3 – “Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know.”