A few days ago I shared of awakening from a nightmare feeling prompted to pray for the persecuted Christians around the world. As 4:30 this morning rolled around I found myself up once again, with people on my mind. And, once again, I took the recent advice I overheard from a friend to her son, that if you wake up in the middle of the night with someone on your mind, God probably wants you to pray for them. But this time, my prayers hit a little closer to home. This time one after another God began to bring students and families to mind, students and families in someway connected to the mission and ministry God has asked ME to join Him in…
- A family where the dad has walked out to go live with the girlfriend
- An only child, who lost her mom to cancer a few years ago and her dad couldn’t take the pain anymore and took his own life a few weeks ago leaving her orphaned and alone
- A girl unwanted by her mother, emotionally abused by her father, waiting through a long court process as those same people who don’t even pay attention to her for some crazy reason fight to take her from the one person who truly loves her
- Another young woman with a similar story, only worse
- Two siblings who just passed the one year mark of an accident that took the life of their father and left one of them fighting for his life as well
- 10-15 kids (maybe more, I’ve lost count) who have experienced the blessing of adoption, but find themselves at times feeling unwanted, alone, and wondering where they belong, many who know little, if anything, of their biological identity and family history
- Students who struggle with trying to figure out what God really thinks about them as they deal with same sex attractions in a Christian culture that often unknowingly communicates that they’re the exception to the “God loves everyone” rule
- Students battling debilitating depression, trauma, self-esteem problems, and overwhelming anxiety
- Students crushed by the expectations from parents, teachers, coaches, siblings, or themselves, wondering if they’ll ever be able to live up to impossible standards
- Students who get everything they want and whose lives seem perfect, yet who are crumbling inside, searching for meaning and purpose and identity
- Young people who are bullied and belittled as they walk through school each day
- Kids grieving the loss of friends who couldn’t take that kind of pain and chose to take their life
- Students who struggle with thoughts of doing the same, seeing no other alternative in the midst of their pain
- Students whose parents are absent, distant at best, whether by choice or mental illness or work-a-holism or an affair or death
- Families torn apart by drug addiction and students on a path to do the same thing to their family
- Families struggling to have enough money to keep the heat on and food on the table
- Students with family members facing chronic illness or disease
- Families grieving the death of family members, the death of dreams, the death of innocence
And the list continued on…and on…and on…
It was in those early morning moments that I found my compassionate, tender, broken-hearted God remind me:
Bekah, you are far from perfect… and I don’t really need you because, well, because I am GOD, and I am far more than capable of doing my job on my own.
BUT I want you.
And these students and families, THEY are why I’ve called you, THESE are the reasons I want you to help Me … They are the ones who need to know that
I am real.
I am good.
I am faithful.
I bring hope and new life.
And above all, I love them.
I know it can be overwhelming. I see the temptation to try to do it on you own. I catch you wondering what you could possibly do to relieve their pain. I understand your fear of failure. I watch you try to plan and strategize, to worry and wonder what others may think. But that’s not your job. All I
need, no, all I invite you to do, is to declare the truth about the One who brought YOU out of darkness into light and has the power to do the same for them… To help them experience hope found only in my death and resurrection… To remind them that the pain they’re in is not the end of the story… To SHOW them (not just tell them) that they are loved and they are enough and they can be free … Not because of anything they could do, or you could do, but because of My grace and what I’ve already done.
So do not be afraid, My daughter, and do not give up. Your work is not in vain. Be strong, in Me. Work hard, in Me. Rest well, in Me. My grace IS sufficient, and MY power is perfected in YOUR weaknesses. Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. THEN, and ONLY then, will you bear much fruit. Remain in My love. I’ve got this!
Your Father, The Almighty Father