keep on keepin’ on

It’s easy to get discouraged about situations that seems to NEVER improve, or even more, just seem to get worse over time. 

I’ve been dealing with a situation like this involving a family member (well, really, more than one, but this one was what made me rethink things…).   Although I live far away from my side of the family, I know that regardless of what’s going on my responsibility is to pray for them.  And, there’s been a lot to pray about over the past few years. 

This weekend there was an incident involving one of my brothers that made me react in two different ways.  First reaction:  “seriously?  What is it going to take for him to realize what he’s doing to himself?”  This reaction involved me thinking that maybe the best option for me and him would be some distance… not just physical, but supportive too.  Second reaction:  more sad than anything else.  I’m sad for him, for what he’s doing, for the things he’s done, and for the absolute lack of remorse or emotion that he seems to have about everything.  This reaction is when I started to feel a little more convicted about my role in his life. 

I know I can’t BE there for him, but I can be there, you know?  I think I had started to take more of the objective bystander attitude toward him and his many antics.  I figured eventually, one day, he’d actually “grow up”, and turn his life around.  The conviction lay in that while that “growing up” may indeed one day happen, I still have a responsibility to pray for him.  To that end, I looked up and wrote down verses Paul wrote to the churches:

* Colossians 1:3 — “… praying always for you…”

*  Philippians 1:4 — “… always offering prayer with joy…”

*  1 Corinthians 1:4 — “… I thank my God always concerning you…”

*  1 Thessalonians 1:2 — “We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers…”

*  2 Thessalonians 1:3 — “We ought to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as it is only fitting…”

*  2 Timothy 1:3 — “… as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day…”

*  Philemon 1:4 — “I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers…”

See???  At least 7 times that I found, Paul mentions very early in his letter the significance of prayer for people, and not just because you feel like you have to, but because it brings joy. 

So, even though I’ve grown discouraged with seeing the things my brother and other family members do, I need to keep on keepin’ on with what I know I need to do… not only for their sakes, but for mine too.

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