I’ve probably said this before, but youth group nights have quickly become my favorite part of the week. I look forward to seeing my students every Sunday night.
A few weeks ago, I got this nagging feeling come over me. I felt like I should be doing something. I felt really burdened for these students, but I couldn’t figure out why, and that bothered me.
I’ve always had a knack for understanding emotions both in other people and in myself, so I can usually figure out why I’m feeling a certain way, but not this time. I was frustrated that I was so upset for what seemed like no reason, I just knew it had to do with the students.
Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with an amazing small group leader. I texted him to see if he could speak any wisdom into my situation, and boy, did he deliver. He talked me through it a little at a time to help me get to the root of the problem.
He started out with the question: What is this burden, what do you want for these guys? I responded that I felt like I should be doing something for the students other than being there Sunday nights and praying for them, but I couldn’t because I live out of town. I felt that I wasn’t doing enough to help the students grow.
I want these students to have the same awe, the same reverence, the same love for God that I feel. I want them to know and experience God and have a deeply personal relationship with Him. I want them to grow up to be incredible leaders. I want them to have a faith rooted so deep, they can go out into this harsh, fallen world and be able to take on any spiritual battle thrown their way.
And there is nothing I can do to make that happen.
As I talked more with my small group leader, I came to the realization that I don’t have the power to change people’s hearts about God. Philippians 2:13 says “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” The bible tells us numerous times throughout scripture that God is the only one who can change hearts and God is the only one who reveals Himself to people.
For me, that meant giving up control, and I hate that. I love having control. I always have. Even though I know that my students are in better hands with God than with me, it is still so difficult to trust in that. Another passage from Philippians 1 says “be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
So the reason I felt upset that week, was because I don’t like giving up control. However, I have to be faithful with what God has called me to do and time I’ve been given with these students, and trust that He will take care of the rest. I know, easier said than done, right? I’m getting there, but it’s a work-in-progress.
I’m reminded of some lyrics from a song titled Control by MUTEMATH.
Take control of the atmosphere
Take control of the atmosphere
You can take my world, you can fill the air
It’s such a beautiful surrender
One thought on “A Beautiful Surrender”
A lesson for all of us and, again, it is beautifully written, Paul.
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