Today, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of special people. Aboout 30 people (young and older) are part of a group called NETT. They are so awesome. Some people might sell them short, thinking that they do not have alot to contribute to a church, a school or even a family. They are the most loving and accepting group I have ever been around. No agenda's or demands... just love. Over the past few years, they have come to our church for special nights every month and a week long camp during the summer.
There are several adults and teenagers who work with them year around...I just love those adults and sponsors... they have such a love for what some might call "the least of these."
Anyway, our theme was "born to be wild." I know this may be a surprise, but I am not exactly a "wild and crazy" guy. But we did some funky and fun things... and then talked about the "wildest" guy in the Bible. John the Baptist had a weird wardrobe, ate some really strange food, and lived in a place no one wanted to live in. But the wildest thing about John was that he always pointed people to Jesus. That was a wild message! It was all about Jesus.
My friends loved the story. They listened so well, laughed hard and they got it! We did motions, told stories and reminded ourselves that everyone needs to talk about Jesus more than they talk about themselves. In the middle of my talk one of the guys burst into tears. I kept going, but one of the sponsors took him out and talked with him. Then following my talk, she came to me and said that he wanted to talk with me. So we went into a side room and talked about his life. It is a tough life. Not alot pretty about it all. Except for one thing. He said to me, "I saw Jesus and He told me that He would be with me. I don't need to be afraid."
WOW! I had tears in my eyes. So much to to deal with, and yet it all boiled down to what Jesus had told him. That was what was getting him through the day.
We prayed, talked some more and he seemed better.
And so was I. I was not the teacher today... I was the student. I needed to hear Jesus what Jesus said to my new friend. "I will be with you. You don't need to be afraid."
Alot of you have HUGE things on your plate... and I know that you sometimes wonder...really wonder... "Is Jesus there?" I have been there. Self doubt, hurtful friends and family, disappointment, goals not met, and sometimes just the junk of life overwhelm us all. And we wonder...
There are some big things on my plate right now... but alot of people have ALOT bigger things on thier plates. The great thing is that there is no plate too big for Jesus. He keeps everyone of his promises...all the time.
"And I will be with you always...even to the end of the age." He said that to some disciples right before He went back to heaven. But he meant it for me... for my friend... AND FOR YOU.
Special thanks to my new friend was my teacher today....:)