“The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” – Exodus 14:14
The Egyptians were bearing down on the Israelites… they had just escaped captivity and Pharaoh changed his mind and came after them with the full force of the Egyptian army. The Israelites saw this huge army heading right for them, their backs up against a large body of water with seemingly no where to go. Panic was setting in.
Isn’t this the state we find ourselves in with our students at times? We see things not going the way we want, we see our students not engaging, we see some students being sporadic in attendance or just flat out not showing up, we see students not getting it or even regressing (in our minds) in their faith. This is a terribly helpless place. This is a place where we don’t know what to do and in our humanity we decide to let our emotions take over and direct our actions. There are a lot of times its just easier to give up and focus on the ones that come rather than turn and face the challenge to go after them. It would be easier to give up instead of fight for those students like God fights for you.
That was where the Israelites were as they stared down a seemingly unbeatable foe. They were ready to just give up and rejoin the Egyptian work force, the easy way out.
How easily they forgot all that God had done for them leading up to that point. They forgot about the plagues to soften the heart of one of the most powerful men in the world, they forgot about their ancestors before them who in a drought packed up to move to Egypt because not going there would have resulted in starvation and death. They forgot about time after time God meeting them in their deepest need and providing.
Right after those doubts The Lord uses Moses to speak words of truth and life. Words that we, today, need to hear. “The Lord your God will fight for you… you need only be still.”
The Lord told Moses to grab his staff and lift it high and the waters of the Red Sea. The waters parted and the Israelites crossed over on dry ground with a great army bearing down on them. The Egyptians came through the same pass after all the people made it to the other side and the waters crashed down on them crushing the army. God’s provision for his people came through again, shocking right?
When we are faced with doubt, uncertainty, students who don’t show up or don’t focus on the conversation, know that God is fighting for you. He is not fight for you so you can win a battle but because the enemy knows if you give up on your students then who is there to love them, go after them, encourage them? If you don’t do it… who will…
As much as God fights for you; you have to fight for the students God has given you. Even if it seems difficult, step into the gap on their behalf, show them love by touching base with them, write them a note, make a phone call, figure out a way to encourage them. Whatever you do, Don’t give up!!!
Never forget where your strength comes from and what God wants us to do in those moments of desperation, confusion and despair.
“You need only be still”, that is God telling you that He’s got this. In Psalms 46:10, it says to be still on know that God is on the throne. It could be in the season you are in, you have to be still, be ready to fight for your students and realize that God has you right where you are for a reason.
On behalf of the students who don’t realize how much you care, how much you love them, how much you fight for them, how much time and effort you put into helping them get to know about the love God has for them… THANK YOU! Don’t give up, Don’t lose heart, Don’t back down. Your Red Sea moment is right around the corner!
Kent Bjurstrom is the pastor of student ministries at Northview Church in Carmel, IN. His desire is to see middle school and high school students enter into a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ and help them put their faith in motion. Connect with Kent Twitter & Instagram at @PASTORKENTB.