Responding to SufferingHow do you feel when your life is interrupted by suffering and adversity?
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Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the
tender plants (v.7).
A few years ago, I wrote about three street kids—
Saddam, Moses, and Charles. At the time, I had
helped lead them to a Christian home for children
who had no other place to live. I thought the boys would
be elated to leave their life of extreme suffering behind.
But after only one month in his new environment, Saddam
called to tell me that Charles, age 11, had run away.
To help me understand why Charles preferred the
streets, Saddam explained that 2 years earlier the
orphaned boy had been coerced into a child prostitution
ring where he could make 500 Ugandan shillings (about
25 cents US) each time he let someone sexually abuse
him. Refusing to give up on Charles, I solicited help from
the local police and from an organization that helps
rescue children from commercial sexual exploitation.
Sadly, our efforts were in vain as Charles chose to
continue down his familiar, treacherous path.
A mere child, Charles epitomizes 1 Timothy 6:10, which
says, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.
And some people, craving money, have wandered from
the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”
Though it was evil men who lured the vulnerable Charles
into the trade, it was Charles who let the equivalent of 25
cents tempt him to wander from faith and safety. He chose
to return to a place that will ultimately bring him sorrow
Getting a child out of a life-threatening situation is sometimes the simplest
part. It’s helping him to heal and press on in his new life that is often the biggest
Today, pray for children around the world who are struggling to overcome
a difficult past. May they be like seeds that fall on fertile soil—growing in God
Take a moment and pray Ephesians 3:17 for children coming from
abusive backgrounds: “Then Christ will make His home in your hearts
as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you
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