Downtown South Bend, Indiana is home to a manmade Kayak run. A couple friends and I “shot” the waterway in a rubber raft that ended with us getting caught in a whirlpool. After our futile attempts to escape the lifeguard finally had to throw us a rope to pull us free.
Many of those I have discipled have been caught in a whirlpool of grief at the realization that they will never have the childhood they dreamed of or the life they had planned. This grief, if not checked, will turn to bitterness and “bitterness is always an incentive to self-destruction.” Whether at home, school, church, work, or in friendship no one is exempt from the destructive emotions of others and for most the deepest hurt will be connected to their family.
The life experience of Joseph in Genesis was no exception. At pivotal points there were people with destructive intent that would knock him back for years. As the apostle Paul had to remind his disciple Timothy of a proper perspective so too you will need to remind your disciple that his life is part of a larger divine purpose no matter how malicious his circumstances. Destructive emotions cannot be avoided and are a vital part of the redemptive story of God as it unfolds. The discipler throws a rope to his disciple by helping him “ . . . realize that a higher plan is a work which will supersede the destructive force of these emotions.”