City Life and Our Cold World

Posted on by COYFC

By Joel Fether

I hadn’t seen or spoken to Jalen for two weeks due to the holidays.  As I picked him up for City Life he was in a very troubled state of mind.  He said it’d been a rough couple of weeks for him and it was a “cold world” we live in.  I told him I was sorry to hear he’d had such a difficult time and asked if he’d like to talk about it.  He said no, but then proceeded to tell me exactly what he’d been going through. 

                Jalen has lived in several different foster and group homes over the last few years due to serious family problems.  His relationship with his dad is especially troubled.  Over break he was spending some time with his family when an argument over something trivial escalated to the point that his dad left him on the street and his foster dad had to come get him.  After that, he was hospitalized with a serious health problem that could have been life threatening if it had gone untreated much longer.  After getting out of the hospital, he made arrangements to meet up with a “friend” who wanted to buy an article of clothing from him, only to have the “friend” steal it from him instead. 

It is no exaggeration to say that Jalen’s life has been filled with sorrow, negativity and tragedy.  We all face difficulty in life, but for most of us a string of events like this would be exceptional.  For Jalen this is just more of the same.  No wonder Jalen felt depressed at the “cold” world -- for him it is! 

                Yet Jalen told me he wanted to come to City Life to “clear his head.” Psalm 46:1-3 teaches us that God is our refuge, a place of safety even when the world around us is crumbling.  He is our helper in our times of trouble.  When Jalen said he wanted to come to City Life to clear his head, I think what he was saying is that for him City Life is a place where he experiences God in this way.  When he attends, it becomes an opportunity to connect with the God who is his helper in times of trouble.  

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."  (Psalm 46:1-3)

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