The onset of fall is always a mixed bag for me. I love the cool weather, beautiful colors and the anticipation of winter and snow. But ever since I was a kid, I dreaded the start of school, the end of summer and the ever dwindling daylight.
So every year around this time I start to feel a little mopey and depressed.
Add in, I’ve felt really helpless about some things happening in ministry, and the last month has been rough. Really rough. Enough I’m not sure I want to keep doing this much longer. Enough that I’ve been thinking about taking an extended break because I’m not sure how much longer I can face some of the brokenness in the world.
This morning as I was sitting on the bus going into work, I finally decided to do some Bible reading, and boy was it relevant. Unsure of where to start, I just picked up Proverbs 24 since it was the 24th, and verse 11 immediately stood out to me: “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.”
I have been working in particular with a few guys that just don’t have a single decent role model in their lives. Outside of our church, every adult in their life has drastically screwed up their own lives and have proven incapable of making wise decisions. But not out of malice, I don’t believe, but out of sheer foolishness. They don’t know any better.
And these particular guys I care about? They don’t know any better either. They’re just kids following in the footsteps of every adult in their lives. Unable to make right decisions, not because they’re bad kids but because they legitimately don’t know any better.
“Staggering toward slaughter” leaps off the page as exactly what’s going on. They’re staggering through life, doing it the only way they know how. And they don’t realize it, but they’re staggering slowly towards destruction.
But it’s more than just a passive movement towards destruction. “Rescue those being led…”
This isn’t just some cruel twist of fate. For, and I know this sounds crazy at times, we have an enemy that is out to destroy anybody and everybody he can. And he leads people towards destruction. Even people I care about. Even kids who deserve a better shot.
What do we do with that? What does God want us to do? Rescue them. Hold them back.
But what if that’s really hard? What if you want to give up? What if you have no strength and you don’t think you could do it?
I suppose that’s why the previous verse has a warning: “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!“
Ok. Message received. Keep going. Keep fighting. Keep pressing. Keep pushing. Even when it seems hopeless. Even when it seems like that needle is never going to budge. Keep doing whatever it takes. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. You’ve got work to do. Keep at it. Stay strong. Rescue them.