When I began to study the scriptures the Spirit of the Lord gave me, the first was Romans 5:3-5, ‘And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.’
What my son and I had been experiencing was pure tribulation. Without writing my autobiography, by June of 2010, both my son and I were unemployed and living in a rat, bug, termite, and wasp infested home. We couldn’t afford to pay for gas, so we boiled water in the microwave to take baths and cooked our meals on a hot plate. By this time, we’d been living like this for almost 2 years so this particular night I knew my son had to at a breaking point.
I know some of you may be thinking, why didn’t y’all get jobs? Good question, but before you begin to judge, hear me out. My son was frustrated because though he’d grown up in the hood, I’d raised him differently. Though we lived in the hood, we didn’t think like the hood. So now that he was 20 years old and while most young men his age were trapping, banging, hustling, or living with their baby’s momma on her section 8; neither of those appealed or applied to my son. Because we’d made poor decisions, he’d dropped out of school, gotten into trouble and was now on probation – not drug or gang related. (That’s a different issue!)
But putting this in perspective, we were living in this house under those conditions - all while he was trying to be a man, in the absence of a father, without any male family members, positive male role models or friends. Now you can better understand his tribulation.
The word tribulation means ‘to be crowded or pressured.’ The situation had begun to crowd him; so much so, that there was an unusual amount of pressure. Peer pressure in that some would question why he wouldn’t trap or bang; especially since he didn’t have any money. The situation was attempting to pressure him into making a decision between several wrong choices; trap, bang, hustle or pimp.
Perhaps your sons are faced with the same pressures and because of where they’ve grown up, they too are being pressured to choose between a host of wrong choices. Maybe they’ve dropped out of school, made some mistakes, but are still trying to do the right thing in the face of so much wrong. The Word of God says, ‘And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance’. That tribulation, crowding and pressure our sons are experiencing is producing perseverance; both in them and in us, but know this - our sons are not alone, God is with them and there is hope.