Every now and then I read something that makes me want to shake my computer screen and shout, “Yes!” This last month I received the following email from Michayla White who is Director of the International Network of Childrens Ministries. I shared it with the REAL Kids Leaders team, but I have not been able to shake the wonderfully worded message she sent to thousands of kids ministry leaders across the nation. A message of hope, a challenge of our faith and a call to be who we were created to be. It has resonated so much with me that I want to share it with you as well.
“The past couple of weeks remind us why our souls long for heaven.
Shootings and fires. Grief and worry. The list feels long, and this is difficult. As those made in the image of God, we look at this and know this isn’t how it was meant to be. We long for the day when all the brokenness and wrong things are made right again.
We live between two advents. And in this in-between, we know we are recipients of abundant mercy, grace, hope, and love. The gospel of Jesus Christ has changed everything for us- our hearts, our minds, and our souls. It’s one of the reasons “we long for a better country- a heavenly one.” (Hebrews 11:16)
At the beginning of Hebrews 11, we read: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” At first glance, we can read these words and nod in agreement. Take a deeper look, and it will drop you to your knees.
If we dug into the nuances of the Greek here, we would see it from this lens:
“Now faith (what you’re persuaded of) is confidence (the supporting evidence on which you would make a stand) in what we hope (expect) and assurance (it exposes) about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for (witnesses of/eye witnesses).”
This actually has legal, courtroom language involved. The writer is making a case. It communicates: “What you’re persuaded of is the evidence you’re standing on, and you are exposing what you are expecting. The ancients you have respect for are actually witnesses/evidence that God is who He said He is.” And as it goes on, we realize that our lives are also bearing witness to who He is by the way we live out our faith.
Friends, we are leading through hard days. We are serving kids and families that have hard questions and hard stories.
As children’s ministry leaders from all over the globe, we’re finding ourselves fluent in hard stories.
But here’s the truth we cannot lose sight of: Your life is exposing what you’re expecting, and your life is as good as legal evidence that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
We long for a better country- a heavenly one. And we KNOW it is being prepared for us. But for now, in this in-between, we run. We persevere. We look only at Him. We consider how He endured, and we don’t let the things of earth steal the breath in our lungs.
When it’s hard, we expose what we expect…. and that’s Jesus.
We give them Jesus. We’re His proof. “We do not belong to those who shrink back… but to those who have faith and are saved.” (Hebrews 10:39)
Today, may our prayer be that He would fill every bit of our vision. May we offer Him to our community by the way we express faith, hope, and love. May we be proof that there is none beside Him. Let us open up our eyes in wonder to the glory of the King who is coming!”
Let your prayer today be that we would expose what we expect as we head in to this most joyous season. Let our faith in Jesus be exposed and bring hope to those around us.