Avenues of Life

Keep Your Faith, Turn Back, and Strengthen Your Brothers

 Christian Life Coach, Mindset, Perspective

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  • Keep Your Faith, Turn Back, and Strengthen Your Brothers

He was taken from his family and enslaved at age 16 for what would be his future for six lonely years in a land with people he did not know. His parents woke up one morning, and their son was gone. Who or what took him? We’re not talking about Jeremiah the prophet, who was taken captive, nor are we talking about Daniel the prophet. Where did this boy go, and who led him away?

Do we know what happens to our own children when they disappear from our lives at such a young age? What leads them away? I have some ideas: maybe TikTok, video games, porn, weed, sex, alcohol, or maybe all the above. No matter what led them away or what they are caught up in, we love them deeply. Don’t we? We will do anything to get them back.

Well, the person we are talking about was a young man born in 389 AD, who grew up in Wales but was taken away to Ireland. He experienced bondage with chains, a life in slavery, and was engulfed in spiritual warfare beyond his own understanding. It was a time of great conflict for him and his parents, with no future in sight of his shaded eyes.

The young man was St. Patrick. What is your son or daughter’s name? Have they been taken away by some of the reasons I listed above? Patrick’s family would have given their own lives for his life, as I’m sure you would. I can only presume they wondered why they were spared the day he was taken by Irish pirates. There is evil in this world. And, according to Jesus in Matthew 12, it loves our lineage:

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order.  Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” Matthew 12:43-45 NIV

Evil minds and bodies want to come steal, kill, and destroy all the goodness in this world. We don’t know why, but just know it is. Lean greatly on the profound wisdom and liberty and grace God has already defeated all the bad. He will give our children abundant life.

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:9-10

You see here in John, Jesus is the gate for His sheep, and He promises life beyond the thieving of our loved ones. Those promises weren’t felt by Patrick’s parents, nor does this promise feel true to us on a minute-by-minute basis.

Overall, though, I want to encourage you with your child’s return, just as St. Patrick, who returned home six years later with much humility. This time, he was like Peter, who preached the gospel after denying Jesus three times.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

As far as St. Patrick and your wayward child, they were both taken off by the enemy, but they will be reconciled to Christ, have faith, and strengthen their brothers and sisters. We all need it. This is proof Jesus is praying for you and your family.

Interestingly enough, St. Patrick never accepted Christ prior to age 16, while he was imprisoned. He accepted Christ with fervor, gaining a nickname among his fellow slaves of “holy boy”. At age 22, he escaped and returned to his parents. Not long after, he got a call from the Holy Spirit to go back and share God’s faith with the Druids in Ireland.

Even after his parents were strongly opposed to helping those people who hurt him, he went to monastery for 16 years. At age 38, he returned to Ireland. While in Ireland, Patrick even shared the gospel to the man who enslaved him when he was 16. The man, Miliuc the Druid, never came to Christ, but burned himself alive, locked in his own house instead of turning against his false gods.

He went on to share the gospel while being treated brutally. Ultimately, he preached, ordained others, and spread the Word of God among the people of Ireland. What a paradigm of forgiveness for those who mistreated him and a demonstration of discipline in following Christ’s will to share the gospel!

At age 72, after sharing faith, hope, and love for 40 years, St. Patrick died caring for those in Ireland. Now, I know I have sinned. Have you? Sins like, unforgiveness, slander, jealousy, covetousness, lasciviousness, addictions, and so on. If you think not, think again. If you think your sin was not as great as others, think again. If you are hurting, seek counsel from the Holy Spirit and/or a counselor. Remember you are only human, just as I am. All people deserve to hear the gospel. St. Patrick did so in Ireland. Praise God!

We can claim the victory of your child being returned to not only you, but to Christ. Amen!

As you celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day, remember the obedience and price St. Patrick endured, just as your wayward child is enduring right now.

Great things come of our children as they draw near to Christ. We never know how it will happen.

Glory be to God!