What seems impossible in your relationship with God today?
I have heard and seen the responses of many parents to their children’s experience of faith in Jesus that develops while they are in college. Sadly, a lot of parents are threatened by the reality of a transformtional encounter their kids have while involved with campus ministries like Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship.
Young men and women hear the holy Scriptures taught in Chi Alpha settings with clarity, conviction, and Holy Spirit power and come face to face with Jesus. They see and hear humility, authenticity, transparency, confession, forgiveness, along with truth and grace in various relational contexts and are stirred to find out how Jesus compels His people to live that way. They see sacrificial love, justice, and service modeled by Christ-followers and recognize these are elements of a Kingdom they have not before encountered.
Christian parents often react with skepticism, cynicism, even hostility to the faith deepening experience of their college-age kids. Many are fearful, or even threatened when their children come home to say they are planning to use their spring break or part of their summer break to do mission work somewhere around the United States or even overseas.
After all, some of these parents do not want their kids getting “too radical” with matters of faith. Some have told their children not to get too serious about that “Bible stuff,” because the Bible is full of myths, you know. I mean, come on, the Bible was not meant to be followed and lived out…like they are teaching you in that…wait for it…that cult-like group called Chi Alpha.
I have met some of these parents over the last three-plus decades of campus ministry. A few that call themselves “Christians” have actually laughed at the idea of their son or daughter describing a call to be holy, reach their dorm for Christ, set themselves aside to be sexually pure before their wedding day, and even believe God is calling them to serve Him in full-time ministry after graduation. I have heard parents say things they later regretted to their kids, because they realized their child was an adult capable of making their own decisions, and living with the consequences. They also realized how their lack of faith looked in comparison to their kid(s).
I have known hundreds of college students who believe they are encountering the Creator of All and want to be respected for it. But it is often hard for others to handle the faith experience of a friend or family member at times due to the subjective nature of these encounters.
Read Genesis 18:1-15 and 21:1-7.
It happened to a 90 year old Jewish women named Sarah when the Lord said she and her husband Abraham, age 99, would have a son. The text described how Sarah laughed at the prospect of her bearing a child. A year later, just as God promised, Sarah gave birth to Isaac.
Think theologically. When the Lord gives us a seemingly impossible promise through His Word about who we can be or do for Him, we may initially react in stunned disbelief. But by His power and grace, He can also transform our doubts (and that of others) into appropriate laughter (or better…joy) and amazement. Like Sarah learned, there is nothing impossible for God.
Love is a verb,
©2016 by Mike Olejarz