“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)
I am a leader in the Senior High youth group in my church. Tonight, Palm Sunday and looking toward Easter next Sunday, our youth pastor brought the hope of Salvation to our teens with a powerful visual. He spoke from the above Scripture in John 10 that we are the sheep that Jesus is talking about and the importance of knowing Jesus as your Savior so that you can hear His voice and follow Him and the message that clinches that is that no one can snatch you out of the Father’s hand. We are all going to fall and face temptation because we are human. But the good news of the Gospel tells us that once we are His we are secure. He then offered them the opportunity to come up and pound a floor board nail (they look like ‘Jesus nails’ the ones used to nail Jesus to the cross) into a board and then he clinched the nail underneath the board so that it couldn’t be removed.
Those that had already made the decision to follow Christ pounded a nail to publicly acknowledge that and a few made a first time decision. It was a powerful visual not only on how secure their future is but that nails like this were put into the hands and feet of Jesus so their sins were paid for past, present and future. Our teens know that in the youth group they have a safe place to go where they are loved not only by God but by our leaders and each other and a safe place to bring their friends so they too can have the hope of salvation. I count it a great privilege to be used by God in the lives of these teens.
A Blessed Easter to All
Ever since I wrote my post Chapters of Life I have been feeling restless about the ‘where I am now’ chapter. I know that part of that is due to my job and trying to make a decision of when to retire. I have come to the conclusion to not retire yet but it doesn’t change the fact that I am discouraged with my job. I can go no further in it so I am beginning a search for a new position which is tough at this stage of life. I am leaving this with the Lord knowing that He can open a new door for me. So I step out and wait. The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
This restlessness goes beyond the job though, and I think I am beginning to see some of what it is. I have had an empty nest for many years now and have adjusted but not entirely. To be truthful I should say I see my adult children living their lives and I miss the interaction with them. For 30 years I was the center and coordinator of all family activities and then went to a much lesser role. I certainly am not needed as much as I was. You know, I get that. It is the way it should be. I am happy for my children and proud of the way they are living and raising their own families. I need to remember that I am still needed but in a different way than before. I get to babysit my grandchildren which is an incredible joy and they do still call for advice or for one of their favorite recipes that I made. Yes, it is good. All is right with my world. I just need to keep focused on the Lord and His will for me and it will stay that way.
I started this post with the above paragraphs many months ago and now am ready to finish it. I did find a new job which seemed wonderful for the first two weeks. After that time it went south quickly. The true colors of the boss I had began to emerge at that point and he became extremely abusive verbally. I hung in there for five months thinking I could work through this but one day he went over the top and I walked out. Something I have never done before. I took the first week after to recover. I didn’t realize how badly it affected me until I was out of the situation. It is now seven weeks post that job and I am still unemployed. I have spent that time networking and trusting God to meet my needs and guide me to the next job. Today it hit me hard…I have no income…woe is me…the tears and the feeling that I am spiraling down the road to depression. That is not where I want to go so that is why I am here writing as that is what helps lift me up to where I need to be and keep my head up and continuing to trust God. So here I am in the middle of this chapter of my life not knowing what is next. Someone once told me when you don’t know what to do to do the next thing. So I write and continue to move forward.
I was just interrupted by a text message from a young teen girl in the small group I lead in the youth group at my church. It was an update about a suicidal friend of hers that I have been helping her with. Thank you God for reminding me that I do have a purpose, that you are still in control and again that I just need to do the next thing.