When I went to Generation Unleashed as room leader for my youth group this year, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. I’m kind of an introvert (although I hate saying that; I am me, and I think I’m between the extremes), but I cared so deeply about the girls I shared a hotel room with. I wanted to give them some kind of assurance that they were meant to be on this trip, that Jesus had made a way for them to come and be in an environment where life is more silent so that they could hear Him better. I’m not entirely sure what my girls ended up taking home with them (besides all the classic books we found at Barnes and Noble, haha!), but I loved that what they talked about at the end of the day wasn’t the amazing feelings they had; it wasn’t about the exciting worship or the shopping trips or even a life-changing moment. They spoke of truths that the speakers had shared and how those truths encouraged them or made them think. They could not have said anything to make me happier.
I intended to sit with them for the high school session. I truly did. But, when the age groups began to split off and the college students were dismissed, my heart sank into my stomach. I tried to shake this, telling myself it would be better to stay with the high school group. But my sunken heart almost had me doubled over in pain, and it was beating fast. “Lord, you want me to go, don’t you?” I said.
And I went.
This happened twice in the exact same way on this trip. He knew what He was doing.
Of every session I sat in on, the college sessions were the only ones that actually spoke into my life. The others had some truths and food for thought, but these college sessions? It was like the Lord, the speaker, and I were having a conversation. I want to share the notes I took from Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr.’s message, because I carry them inside me every day. He called his message “Faith for The Middle,” and that’s exactly where I happen to be. If you’re there, too, I want you to have these things. The message is based out of the story in Mark 4:35-41, of Jesus calming the storm. I’ll just put down exactly what I did back at GU, with a little commentary if necessary.
We pray for the middle to be shortened; maybe we should be praying for faith in the middle.
The meantime matters.
The fact that you’ve thought about quitting shows it matters.
The middle is scary because it’s unknown.
The wise man and the foolish man both had to face the storm. [Context: Matthew 7:24-17]
You can be around Jesus but not with Him. Who is in your boat? You need Him.
Jesus models REST, not “I have to fix this!”
Do you have more faith in your sin than in Jesus? [This was a slap in the face for me. When we doubt that Jesus will forgive us for something, we are actually saying, “I don’t think you are big or loving enough to forgive this.” Ouch. It still stings. Have faith in Him, not your sin; your sin doesn’t deserve it.]
Stay in the boat.
I feel like every area of my life is completely stationary. The nervous excitement of beginning the new things is gone, and the end results are no where to be found. I don’t quite want radical change everywhere; I think I just want to see that something is making some kind of positive difference somehow. Usually I can live my life day by day, but sometimes these feelings of defeat creep upon it. Yet. . . I know the middle is an okay place to be.
I need to stop trying to get out of it and start seeking Him in it.