This isn't my first rodeo. I'm not a virgin when it comes to ministry experience and going through the highs and lows of seeing people encounter Jesus. Just like in my life where I have times when I'm really in tune and times when it just seems like I'm bouncing off the walls and not paying attention to anything that God is trying to tell me.
But even with this understanding, it is funny how God is constantly using Middle School boys to teach me about the Gospel and myself. Tonight was no exception. I love my Middle School boys. I love being able to lead a Life Group at RockHarbor with about 10 of these boys. I love the fact that I get to come alongside their parents and assist their parents in teaching and showing these boys what following Jesus looks like. It is a privilege and an honor - one that I would never trade for anything in the world.
Occasionally though, there are moments and times where patience is tested and God has to keep reminding me that it is Him who does the ministry and not me. All I do is partner up with Him in the work he is already doing.
Tonight was one of those nights. I swear people must think I'm crazy for enjoying and wanting to work with these Middle School students - but helping them encounter Jesus is an amazing thing to be part of. One thing I love so much about Middle Schoolers is that I constantly find them teaching me so much about myself: my depravity, my inclinations, my defaults, Jesus, teaching, and ministry. Sometimes I feel they teach me more then I teach them.
The night was full of stress and Middle School craziness. At one point I almost cracked, I never do that. But at the end of the night I had the pleasure of praying a blessing over my boys and here it is:
"For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:14-21
It was a great reminder that God's the one who does the work and speaks to these boys not me. I only hope they know how much I care about them and long for them in the same way and fashion for them to have continuing encounters with Jesus...