This journey of faith is not always easy. Sometimes the greatest wounds are those we suffer when family members and friends wander away from God and leave us behind. The faith they had when they were younger is now strained, or they see the daily walking with Jesus to be too difficult. For them, Jesus becomes what Peter wrote about when he described Jesus as the stone that causes people to stumble and the rock that makes them fall. Our journey is hard enough, but watching a loved one stumble and fall is heart-breaking.
What are we to do in such a situation? Most importantly, we pray. We must realize that God is more powerful than us, and even if we can’t make them see the truth, He can. Then we witness to the transformative power of Jesus by our own lives. We need to serve him in word and deed. We should let a joy of being a disciple enlighten our faces. Allow Jesus to work through us so that others may be drawn to him. Lastly, we must never lose hope. Many have walked long journeys alone only to find God far down the road. What will it take to bring someone to Christ? It might be an action, a word, or an emotion. We never know how certain people will be touched. That loved one is a gift from God in your life. Place them back in God’s hands, and let Him pick them up if they have stumbled and fallen.
Tracy Earl Welliver is currently the Director of Parish Community and Engagement for LPI where he manages the company’s coaching and consulting efforts. He has spoken on and coached dioceses, parishes, and individuals on stewardship, engagement, strengths, and discipleship all over North America, Australia, and New Zealand.