This was the title of my devotional this morning. And it started me thinking about what it means to be in trouble, and how this affects different people in different ways. For my son, trouble is breaking a rule like running in the house or jumping off his bed (notably in the room over my head while I try to write or do anything productive). For others, it could be a life-threatening situation with a do or die premise.
Trouble is all around us. Just this week, students were caught breaking into the high school where I teach. I have no idea what they were looking for. They would have been met with locked doors on the inside and I can't think of a single thing inside my high school I would want to steal. Computers, I guess? I'd be more apt to raid the library :-). I don't know who the student is, I'm sure we'll eventually find out. But, I also don't know if they'll try him to the full extent of the law and expel him from school. I know that sounds harsh. But, really - it's not. Today's youth walk around with an unearned sense of entitlement and if this young man isn't punished completely for his actions, he'll assume they weren't that big of a deal. They were - you broke the law - you vandalized school property - you deserve to be punished. You, my young friend, are in trouble.
In James 5:13 it says, "Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray..." My devotional also went on to point out, it is YOU that should pray, not someone else. Having someone else pray for your troubles while you go on not paying attention to them is futile. And it started me thinking, about this young man, about my prayer list, about trouble. I pray for my students. Nothing major, no one in particular, but just that they will come to school with an attitude of learning, keep peace with one another and their teachers, and make a decision to do the right thing, better themselves for the rest of their lives. But here's where it gets icky sticky - how many of them are praying for direction? I venture to guess very few and this breaks my heart.
I say this not to be sad or depressing, but because I've found it to be true. When I reference the Bible, they don't know what I'm speaking of. And in English, that is a lot. The Bible is the #1 alluded to book EVER (Shakespeare is #2) and when I make an allusion, they are lost. Like sheep without a Sheppard. When I taught Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God they were not moved. They thought he was just full of hot air and made absolutely no valid points at all. But Edwards says God has given them a great opportunity, to turn away from their evil ways and accept their invitation to Heaven (I'm paraphrasing of course - but you get the point). I think that is of value!!
Say your prayers, even if they aren't saying them with you.