Friday, October 29, 2010

If you truly love someone...keep them close instead of letting them go.

"I just love you and care about you candidate and want to see you get the most out of life!"

I want to get real for a moment...

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I completely believe in the power of prayer. But, I've not always been a regular user of that privilege. Last week I wrote about what I feel God has called me to do, and that's minister to that group of young people who statistics tell us are the group most straying from the faith. The proverbial shoe fits because it truly was on the other foot (mine) at one time.

I've worked in the youth ministry at church for several years and was constantly interacting with the young people at church, but last year God put an opportunity in front of me that has been both challenging and rewarding on all new levels. The head deacon at church, Keith S, was teaching the college-aged Sunday School class and doing a phenomenal job. How phenomenal you say? My wife, Candice, was attending a series on Genesis and was so inspired by what she learned, our daughter due next month will be given the name Eden. That's pretty influential stuff!

But God had a different plan for Keith in our church (which is a completely different blog to His glory once again), so he ask if I would take the class. Sorry to quote a beer commercial on a Christian blog, we go! God was challenging me to put actions to my professed passion. I prayed knowing the answer already but throwing out the fleece in a delaying if that works with God.

Yada, yada, yada...I'm teaching the class now since the first of the year. Wow! It has truly changed my life. Not a day goes by that God doesn't put one of them on my heart or I get a message through text or Facebook asking for prayer. Many of them are away at schools not near here, so I try to maintain regular contact with them to let them know they are gone, but not forgotten. Some have drifted, many have hurt from a number of reason. Through it all, I try to be there to reassure them that God is real and loves them more than anyone else ever could.

But I get it...I truly get it. My passionate pleas to our Heavenly Father on their behalf are an echo from years past in a time if I had only fallen on my knees and cried out for forgiveness and repented, so much hurt would have been avoided. I love each and every one of them as if they are my own children, and as I sit here typing this with tears welling in my eyes and my heart breaking for the trials and tribulations they will each endure...I know it is a path which each must journey to better serve our Savior and His Kingdom. James says it so clearly in his letter to early Christians:

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)

God continues to mold and shape me for His benefit, but He loves me and answers so many prayers on behalf of those He has charged me to love and minister to also. I've seen a few stray and return to His fold, a few broken at bad choices and mended by His love, and one deny Him only to regret and repent. What a blessing and privilege to be used in even the most minuscule way for His glory. I am most thankful for the opportunity to serve our almighty God, and for the challenging path He placed directly in front of me to passionately follow.


David-FireAndGrace said...

The best part is that we always get to come back.

When we are doing what we are called to do, it is an amazing journey.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post. What a blessing it is to serve. You are doing a great job and making an eternal difference....doesn't get bigger than that!

Tracy said...

It's cool to read how God is using you in a way that He's ministered to you in the past.