“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
I was working with a student who had decided to make one of the stupidest choices in his life so far. It was tough to see him get hurt the way he did because we had such a good relationship. I felt like I had failed, trying to be a good role model and him not following in that path. But I was determined to work with him again and help him grow.
- I know that teens sometimes do not make the best decisions simply because they did not know better, he knew better.
- I know that sometimes students are raised in crappy situations, he is not one of them.
- I know that many people his age do not know what God wants for them and so live their life-like the world, he knows some stuff better than I do.
So for six months, I was extra intentional with him, to show him Christ’s love and talk with his parents about what is going on. Then, one day I get the phone call from the father that his son would not be coming with us to the ski retreat because he had done something even more dumb than last time. I put on a good face for the phone call that lasted for thirty minutes, but I was deeply hurting.
“How could he do this? What was going on in his mind? Was he even listening to me?”
I spent several hours in prayer, for his parents, for him, for those around him, and myself. At the end of my time with God, He spoke something deeply into my heart, “Let me do this. Ask him the tough questions and listen to what he has to say, but let Me be the one to fix the situation.”
The idea is not theologically revolutionary, but in this context for me, I was blown away. My heart was filled with joy, it was not my job to fix the situation and make sure the student does the right thing. I let go of the crisis and gave it up to God and my heart rejoiced for His wisdom and power.
So what are you holding on to? What is the worst thing that could happen if you let go and let God be God?
Jeremy Smith is a 26-year old youth pastor at the Air Force Academy chapel, working for Club Beyond, and attending Denver Seminary for his Master”s of Arts in Counseling Ministries. He has been involved in Youth for Christ for eight years – check out his blog at Seventy8Productions.