for 13 years i have stood on the safe side of change and talked to group after group of 6th graders that were entering a pivotal point of transition in their lives. tonight is different. tonight i stand before a group of kids that i’ve shared 95% of their children’s ministry time with, but left two and a half months shy of their 6th grade graduation. tonight as i speak to them about their new season in life, i stand waist deep in mine. tonight, i am not full of answers, quick fixes, perky cliches, or empty promises. the only thing i am full of tonight is peace.
tonight as i share, i don’t want to recount the past or even dwell on this colorful cast of characters. what i can share with them tonight is that no matter what is written in the next chapter of their stories, if their Salvation is in Christ each stroke is written by a mighty Author.
when they begin to experience that change is hard, they can know that the One who holds the pen has a strong, secure hand.
Hebrews 6: 18-19 “God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,”
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
when they start to feel alone in the newness, i can assure them of a Savior that will never leave them or forsake them. (whether it “feels” like it at the time or not.)
Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
when their new adventure begins to take them to new heights that can often be scary, i can remind them that their Creator is the strength in their feet.
Habakuk 3:19 “The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”
when the world seems to win and they become weary, i can remind them our God is faithful to give them a safe place to rest.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
in a world full of faces causing them to just long to be known, i can confidently say their Creator knows them better than they know themselves.
Psalm 138:13-16 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
and when it all may feel like it is not worth it, the snares are many, and the goal line distant, i can challenge us all to continue the fight. because, when we see Jesus, this vapored life will be a no more.
Hebrews 12:1- 3 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
we all have a story, and it is in the time of transition i believe we are tested to see the level of our trust. may we each seek to become less, so that the Author of Life, Jesus Christ receives all the glory. oh how i want a story worth sharing even between chapters.