I didn’t ask for the position I am in. I didn’t even consider myself to be a candidate to be there. I was appointed! I didn’t get it! That was almost 3 years ago. ( that is mindboggling to me) What are you talking about, You ask? Being a youth leader. By far the hardest thing I have ever done. Also the most amazing privilege I have ever had.
Last Sunday, I lost it! I broke down crying during youth worship. The youth team was leading the song Your love never fails. I just couldn’t help it. These tears came streaming out of me and I couldn’t stop. I am not a crier. I had become deeply awakened to the heartache of my teens, heard from Momma’s struggling to connect with their kids. Bullying, cutting, rebellion, the fight for acceptance and attention, self-image, self hate, pain, rejection…. my heart broke for the them right in the middle of worship. God moved on me, giving me His compassion for them.
Our prayer ministry time turned into a crying out to God time for healing and a space for encouragement. In that moment all I could do and say was “I don’t have the answers God, but You do! You know what you are doing in them!”
I went to talk to my Pastor about it. I asked “ How do you do this?” “How do you stand all the pain and struggle?” He simple said “God has giving you a sliver of His heart for these teens, you cant fix it, you cant bear it, you can only accept it and give it back to Him!” Those were profound words and the best words I could have ever heard to how I was feeling.
We are having our youth jam night at the end of the month. It is a night the teens put on a worship service and minister to the people. We invite other youth groups to come and it is open to anyone who wants to join us for the evening. Our theme is faith. When I asked the Lord what to teach leading up to this event He said Jonah. I didn’t get it! I remembered reading Jonah and seeing him as a man who ran from God, got swallowed by a fish, who finally submitted he delivered the message and the people turned to God. God relented from what He was going to do and Jonah was angry. He had a bad attitude and declared “ See I told You! I knew You were a loving God! I knew you wouldn’t destroy them!” So I am thinking how is Jonah a picture of faith?
Well…. learning from others mistakes and seeing how God is able to do what He does with or without our co-operation is pretty amazing. God knows the end from the beginning! We can believe that God knows what our best interest is and that following, obeying, and trusting Him is the right move. It takes FAITH do that. We can’t see the end result but He can. We have to trust Him for the outcome no matter what we think, see or feel. God is good and His will…it will be done! It is interesting to me now that we (Christian peoples) say things like God is Sovereign and yet when something happens in our life that we don’t like, agree with, or understand we pray against, stand against, sometimes rail against, walk away from, or some other response. Anything other then “God help me see what You are doing in this, through this, about this even though I don’t get it, I trust You!!” I understand this thinking! I have been there! When a flood hit our home and we went through some really tough times, loss of a child, loss of jobs, God knew what He was doing and working in us. I didn’t get it. But I can see it now in hindsight. Just like reading Jonah when we get to see it from a different perspective we understand that God is good all the time even when we don’t get it!
So we are believing for God to speak to those who come and to us, our faith steps. That He would enlarge our capacity to trust Him no matter what it looks like! I am excited to see what God will do through these teens at this youth jam night. All Glory to Him in advance.