I guess it hit a mark with me, too...in a different way. I've spoken with so many hurting youth lately. Some who struggle so heavily with sexual tempation from boy/girlfriends- some who have given in. Some who just buy into the lies of the world around them. My heart was so heavy throughout the weekend as faces of some of these dear students that are struggling kept imbedding themselves in my mind. I ache for them to understand how important it is to protect the gift of self respect and honor. I ache because some of them have no idea the fire they are playing with...the cycle of rejection and pain they are spinning in their lives. I ache for the years it may take them to forgive themselves, forgive others or move past the pain of disappointment.
The reoccuring theme of the weekend was freedom. Freedom from lies, freedom from addictions, freedom from pain...freedom from everything the enemy sets against us. Freedom found only at the feet of Jesus...found only when we finally give up the grip we have on our lives and surrender them to Him. I was impressed by the students who boldly shared the freedom they were choosing this weekend. Saw HOPE in the eyes of many.
There is a generation of revolutionaries among us....they are bursting with unrealized potential. Oh, if they would only shift their eyes off the "what if's", the "I'm nots", the "so whats"....if they would only rise up and refuse to accept the lies the enemy deviantly throws at them....then they would see that they are valuable...worthwhile...precious in God's sight. If they would turn their eyes to God's ways and intentionally follow them, that unrealized potential could change the world around them. It could change youth groups, it could change schools, it could change workplaces and families.
If they stop believing the lies that the world insists they conform to and really work to understand who God is and the obedience He lovingly requires of them for their good...what freedom and contentment! If they could understand that God's grace is bigger than any situation they've involved themself in and accept it...they'd realize that sin does not own them, they can walk the other way. They CAN be free!
This is my prayer for those faces that repeatedly flash before me. That they look back one day, having found freedom and redemption, and vow never to walk that way again because this Grace can only be attributed to the HUGE hand of the God of the Universe who rejoices over them with singing....
May it be soon, but let it be complete.
Photo by Amber