Class of 2007!
We Really Live
Graduation is always a hard time for folks in youth ministry… it’s a hard time because the people that you have prayed for, poured into and focused so much of your time and heart on are moving on. At the same time, graduation can be a really cool time for us youth folks. Cool, because we’ve watched these little kids become men and women in the Lord and now we get to send them out into the rest of their lives to walk with Him without us. For me, this graduation year has been especially hard and especially cool. This year’s seniors are some of my dearest friends and some of the strongest and most devoted brothers and sisters in Christ I have. The Apostle Paul once wrote, “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when He comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.”
Paul wrote those words to the church in Thessalonica. He talked about how much he wanted to come see them but was prevented, so when he couldn’t stand it any longer, he sent Timothy to them to find out how they were… He said he was afraid that the Enemy would have gotten in there and messed everything up so that all of Paul’s work among them would have been for nothing, but then Timothy came back and gave this awesome report about their faith and love… It was all Paul needed. In the midst of his persecution, trials and struggles, finding out that those Thessalonians were still walking it was all the encouragement Paul needed. In fact, he said, “For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.”
That’s the way I feel about the class of ’07. There have been so many times when the knocks and trials of ministry have just about flooded my heart so that I’m ready to give up when all of a sudden I hear about the faith and love of one my seniors and I am encouraged… Like the time some of them got their cars vandalized in the church parking lot during Bible study by their peers for being Christians… and they didn’t do anything about it… Like the way so many of them have walked in holiness with boyfriends and girlfriends all the way through high school… like the way they’ll do whatever it takes to come to Bible Study… even run for miles on foot when their cars are taken away… like the way so many of them get up every Sunday on their own to worship the Lord (from age 16) while their parents sleep the morning away.
These are just a few examples of the faith of my friends, but they are the things that keep me going. In between games of “Speed Uno” and “Silent Football;” while paper airplanes and bottle caps flew at my face and after far too many rounds of “Stay True,” these guys changed my life. Just like Paul, when I hear about them standing firm in the Lord, I really live.