Settling… Attainable… Reasonable…
These are all innocent word, but they are also all wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Twenty pounds when I have 50 to lose? Well, the 20 is attainable. And I end up losing six and applaud the effort.
We’ve settled for celebrating “it could have been worse.”
What’s wrong with us? We have a heritage! We’ve seen a few Filet o’ Fish sandwiches feed a stadium! We’ve seen permanent afflictions healed in an instant. Yet, we’ve contented ourselves to live in a landscape of “good enough.” Average has become exceptional and exceptional is extinct.
We’ve lost the art of swinging for the fences. Baby steps have taken the place of faith leaps.
MAY IT NEVER BE!
Maybe we’ve been lulled into this stupor by embracing small wins as our only wins. “Our God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing our God cannot do!” More than ever, this generation of teenagers needs to see an exceptional God, the one we sang about as kids!
The Psalmist agrees: “Now that I’m old and gray, so not abandon me, O God! Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me” (Psalm 71:18 NLT).
Here’s a sad news flash. Our current generation of students have been raised to doubt everyone, so our ability to fit (or not fit) into skinny jeans or dominate (or not dominate) the latest video games has zero bearing on our influence with them. We’re ALL old because it’s not an age, it’s a stage. And our stage doesn’t hold automatic influence anymore.
What WILL have influence? Recall the last time Jesus showed up in your life. I don’t mean that time you found a quarter in the parking lot. I mean REALLY showed up.
When Katie and I were first married, we were broke. I don’t mean broke like we didn’t have much money. I mean broke like our paychecks would not cover our monthly expenses. But we had faith. I don’t mean mustard-seed faith—I mean mountain-moving faith. (They’re one and the same—you know that, right?) We’d come home to find random groceries on our porch all the time. We WOULD find a quarter in the parking lot, and it was the last little bit we needed to make rent for the month. Once, we went to a kid’s football game. We started the drive to the school knowing we did not have any money in our wallet OR our bank account. But we knew that God wanted us to show up for this student. As we walked up to the gate—no way to pay to get in—we discovered $20! Yes, it literally materialized out of thin air! If God can put a quarter in a fish mouth, can’t he handle a small piece of paper from the National Treasury??!
Honestly, those are the “average” stories of a God who has shown up in our lives and ministry over and over and over again. Hundreds of kids showing up when we planned for a dozen and still everything worked and lives were changed. Near-death experiences where doctors were suggesting that we call in family members, only to have a miraculous turn. Story after story of God’s intervention in our lives.
God is STRONG. He is BIG. MIGHTY is His middle name!! Do the teenagers in your sphere of influence know that? Have you told them? Have you shown them? Are you pacified with an average God who does something “just okay”? MAY IT NEVER BE! Swing for the fences! And then tell somebody about Jesus’ grand slam!