“For God hath not given me the spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7
The phone rang, last Saturday – It was my son who lives with his wife and two beautiful children in eastern Idaho. He calls often, but this time it was different. I heard sobbing and speaking in ‘other tongues’. I knew it was my son Richard.
Between sobs he told me this story. He had gone to the church to clean the church—when no one else was around. He had been under a lot of pressure financially and emotionally. While kneeling down cleaning the toilets he began to sing—and the Holy Spirit fell upon him. For one hour and a half he rejoiced in the Holy Ghost ‘speaking in tongues’. The pastor, who is his father-in–law, came into the church and found him lost in the Spirit. He called Ritchie’s wife and told her what was happening. She in turn began to cry, praise God and speak in tongues.
Now—“for the rest of the story”.
We took Richie in as a foster child when he was nine months old. He was a ‘fetal-alcohol syndrome child’ and arrived to us from the hospital. He had been taken from his mother for neglect. Richard never cried. We took Richie to Child Services periodically for visits with his mother. He would scream all the time he was with her. His mother could not stand the crying—so after a time she handed Richie to the social worker and said, “Give him to the Reynolds.” –and walked out.
We adopted Richie and he became my second son. My first son, Douglas was autistic and did not respond to me—so Richie filled the need I had for a boy who would do things with me. When building, I would leave the nails up a little bit for Richie to finish. I poured myself into him and he responded and was constantly with me at home and at church. One day, when working outside I found Richie missing. My wife found him inside pulling off his shoes and putting on his rubber boots. When she asked him why, he replied,” I want to be like my daddy.”
Richie had trouble in school due to hyper-activity. He could not concentrate. He was strong is spelling and in oral reading, but very weak in comprehension and in problem solving. Due to these problems, we took him out of the public schools and placed him in Christian schools. The problems continued so we ‘Home Schooled’ him the first three years of High school. The last year we put him back in our Christian school and with a lot of love and individual attention he graduated.
Thinking he needed to be more independent, we enrolled him in Bible School — against his will. Then his life fell apart—and we had to bring him home in the middle of the year.
He never felt he measured up to our expectations. He often said that he was just adopted. He started to run with young people who were not spiritual. He started smoking, which brought more condemnation. Richie could not hold a job and would often just walk away. He then started going through the window at night—and be missing for a number of days. A friend of his took his fathers car and he and Richie took off for Reno—got afraid of being arrested, turned around and came home. He took off from work to meet a girl in Tacoma—and his motor blew up. He ran off with some boys from work to go to a cowboy bar and the police stopped his truck for a rear light out—and they impounded the truck. He told me that every time he tried to drink alcohol he would get deathly sick. He just couldn’t get away from God and his parents prayers.
When he would finally come home, I would always say, “Son, I love you—and I will always love you. You cannot do anything that will stop me loving you.” “You are welcome at home but you must follow the house rules. You must be in by 12:00, and you cannot smoke in my house.” Time and time again, he would leave and break the rules. He was finally diagnosed as ‘Bi-polar’, and given strong medication to control his fears and actions. He did not know why he did what he did. He was accepted for special job training as a custodian and in lawn maintenance. Richie held many good jobs—but lost all of them.
There were nights he was on the street with nowhere to sleep. I never knew where he was and I would walk the Malls looking for him. I would storm heaven for him every day. One time I was in Brazil ministering and found out he was back on the streets. I was so discouraged I was ready to pack up and come home. Brother Phil Walmer came over to my room and we stormed heaven until God gave me peace. God gave me this scripture which I have quoted thousands of times as I pounded the wall, I will share it with you.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7
God has given me back my son — he is my buddy! He calls me every day and the last thing he always says is, “Dad, I love you.”
He is now 31 years old, and married to a good Christian girl. He has two beautiful children—who I cherish. They are all faithful to church. He has held the same job for over a year and a half— has never missed a day and has been late only one time, when he slid off an icy road on the way to work. He is buying his own house. He is off all his medications.
Parents, never give up on your children—keep praying!
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