I would like to begin with a confession. Always a good place to start, right? I was memorizing Hebrews 12:1-2 this week, and I started to type it from memory, and there were so many errors in it I am just going to call it a work in progress. So, I’ll keep working on it, promise.
I still remember my previous memory verse (my mommy mantra), “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 – does that make up for it a little bit???
“So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes from the message about Christ.” Romans 10:17
This is correct from memory! But, I can take no credit for it – considering I had a lot of help from repeating this verse about 1000 times at Vacation Bible School this week. And singing it in songs.
With lots of awesome, amazing kids.
I had the honor of being a fourth grade leader this year alongside several Godly and strong women. We are different ages and stages, from high school to having high schoolers, but God knows what He is doing when these things come together. He is so purposeful in the details, it just blows me away. And, this week God gave us the gift of new foundations being laid in young hearts. It was such a privilege and a blessing.
One new foundation in particular stands out to me because it involves a young man that my husband and I have gotten to know over the past year. He is very smart and a quick learner. He can be stubborn and unresponsive. He can be defiant. He has even developed a reputation for this in his young life. Over the last 12 months, though, there has been a transformation in him. He has developed a desire to participate, to answer questions, to learn. He is also not just striving for negative attention, his heart has been softened. And, this week he made the decision to give his life to the Lord.
I wish I could describe what an honor it was to get to be a witness to him standing up for Jesus. To listen to him praying with a humble heart to his Savior. What a gift it is to see the bigger picture of this past year, to see how God has been drawing this young man closer and closer to him, seeing him soften until he was ready to make the ultimate surrender. To know there is an even bigger picture – years of family, teachers, the body of Christ working and loving this little life and planting seeds that have been fertilized and watered and resulted in the most important decision he will ever make. He has chosen the sure foundation:
‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’ (1 Peter 2:6, referring to Isaiah 28:16)
So, I just want to brag on God. (and, please click here to see more bragging from some wonderful people!) God, who doesn’t have to give us the opportunity to witness the harvest, but sometimes does reveal a glimpse, and what a huge encouragement it is. Encouragement that no matter how small our role may seem, they are all significant and perfectly coordinated by the Master Gardener. The apostle Paul wrote about these roles in 1 Corinthians 3:6 – “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” Even more, it makes me get fired up and motivated. Because we know, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:36) We need to be working the fields in our churches, in our neighborhoods, in our cities, in our prisons, and in all the nations. Keep it up, God WILL have the harvest! So, that’s my verse this week: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) We don’t always see the results of a little sprinkle of water or the dropping of the tiniest seed, but seeing just one little bloom can give the encouragement to get out there and do some serious yardwork!