I can vividly remember one regular day back in high school. Going to school was normal, the day started out as it typically did however this day was anything but regular. My teacher ran into the hallway to bring us in to look at the television because something had happened that would be a devastating mark in America’s history. That day was September 11, 2001 and actions took place that day that shook the foundations of a lot of people I knew at the time. Through all the images, videos, speculations and noise surrounding it; I remember two things most clearly. First, the unification of God’s people in the face of tragedy and secondly the bravery displayed by servicemen and women to charge towards the worst of it to save who they could. In the face of terror and chaos, when so many were running away, there were those on a mission. My heart was broken and inspired at the same time and other than when my buddy Jeff Powell passed, this was the only other time I can remember weeping at high school.
When I speak to Youth leaders I am reminded of one thing very often; life is tough. Tragedies occur daily and due to our proximity to others’ families we experience more than our fair share. Feeling care-giver burn-out, talking a child through his parent’s divorce, loss of family/friends, poverty, natural disasters, depression, school shootings, even the build-up of an overly stressful way of life can usually leave us wanting to run the other direction. That is why, in the midst of life, we must constantly rely on and trust in God. Jesus tells us in Scripture to expect tough times but encourages us to be courageous in the face of adversity. If you’re not struggling with difficulty right now, then spend extra time preparing your heart in the Word of God for when those storms come. Just like those firemen & women on that morning; you need to clothe yourself for the mission at hand.
The easy road is for passive people. Gods mission continually calls us to engage and do battle with Satan, our own sinful desires, the culture, injustices & evil. We should not be surprised when we are under attack. In fact, maybe we should start to change our thinking and rejoice in our sorrows. Because if we are not being attacked then maybe we are not doing anything worth the enemy’s concern. I don’t know what you might be going through. I cannot say that I have been there. But I do know someone who is there with you. He always has been. Always will be. No matter how bad it gets or how low you feel. Maybe this was just a message for me this week but know that I support you and I felt God leading me to speak hope into someone’s life. Be prepared for adversity but with Christ’s strength have courage to face the worst of it. Be encouraged for He is with you.