Half way through leading freshman year, a student came to Rev that I hadn’t seen in a couple years. In middle school, he was a goofball. Totally confident and looking to make people laugh. A great kid and very much full of life. And when he showed up half way through his freshman year, my honest reaction was: this kid has been completely crushed. And I don’t mean in the normal angsty teenage way that adolescent boys get. I mean, this kid was just a shell of who he used to be. It was as if his life was completely beaten out of him and taken from him. I have never in my life seen a more vivid description of what you do when you “steal, kill and destroy.”
I know, I know – we have moved well past the time when it makes sense to believe in you. People suddenly think you’re weird and strange if you bring up words like Satan or Devil. Good job on that little trick, by the way. But I know your handiwork and this has your signature all over it. And just thinking about this student who has just been crushed by you fills me with so much anger.
You may have gotten to him and you may have crushed him for now, but I promise you this is not the end. With time and loving friends around him, God will begin to make new things, good things, out of what you thought you had destroyed. My student is going through a rough patch but he will be ok. You sent him everything you had, and you really roughed him up – but you could not and will not be able to destroy him.
I know I have been called to do student ministry. And if I’ve been called, I’ve been equipped. And if I’m equipped, I will stand. And if I will stand I can stare you down and tell you that this isn’t going to happen – not on my watch. My students are like my little brothers. I love them and I care about them and most of all I will fight like mad to protect them. You don’t mess with my brothers.
I would rather die than get this wrong. I’m not going to let you take me out through temptation, sin or busyness that distracts me from my single minded focus on the gospel. I’m not the prize, I know that, my brothers are the goal and you’re not going to take me out to get to them. I will endure.
Not because I’m special, nor because I’m so strong, nor even because of my calling. I will endure and I will fight until the very end because God is working in me. And I have the full fire and passion and strength and might of the Holy Spirit working inside of me.
You don’t mess with my brothers. I would sooner die than get this wrong. And I know you would sooner kill me than let me get this right. But the more you fight me, I resolve the more you tempt me, the more it will drive me to my Father. He will take what you intended for evil and make it for good for many people. It’s almost like He’s done it before. Maybe you’ve heard of Genesis 50:20?
I will endure. I will fight. I will finish the race. I will be faithful with what God has given to me in this season of life. And to get to those brothers of mine – you’re going to have to do that over my dead body.
Good luck with that!