“Nothing.” Â It’s the answer we spoke of Â when some students are asked what they want to be when they grow up. Â Not, Â ”I don’t know,” or Â ”I’m figuring it out.” Â ” Nothing.”
The other answer we often get from students who are stuck in this place of survival are, Â ”Professional athlete, Â singer, model, actress.” Â Recently one of the smartest young women in my ministry pulled me aside to tell me a secret. Â ”I have applied to colleges, however, Â I don’t think I am going to go. Â Instead I am going to pursue my dream of Â being on American Idol.” Â Â I never tell students these type of dreams are “unattainable,” instead I ask what steps they are going to take to make it happen. Â She had no plan. Â As a matter of fact when I pressed her it was fear of failing, of being the first generation to go to college in her family, Â of financial aid not coming through that caused her to back out of her college aspirations. Â I said, Â ”You know you can go to college and get to American Idol too. ” Â Â This is a variation of something I have witnessed many times. Â There are two extremes that equal the same answer: No dream. Â This time you put something out there that is so big you know you won’t really attain it. Â So whether you answer “nothing” or the “big thing” you never believe anything will really happen.
When your hope has been deferred or “put on hold,” you forget what dreaming feels like. Â Perhaps you are afraid to dream at all. Â The exciting piece of Proverbs 13:12 is that “Dreams fulfilled are a tree of life.” Â This is a picture of the cross and resurrection. Â In other words Christ is how we overcome a sick heart. Â He is the reason we can dream. Â He is the hope. Â The problem is how do we best help students who want “nothing” to understand it isn’t about “something,” Â but the “one thing” that will renew and bring relationship.
Where can we start?
Truth: Students are hungering for the truth. Â They want to wrestle with the hard stuff. Â They want to know beyond our opinions of life, Â but also who Christ is, Â really. What does this mean to their everyday?
Time: Â They want our time. Â They want time to ask questions. Â They spell love T.I.M.E. Â In a hurried world, Â where everything is pushed aside our students are looking for us to slow down, Â and take “time” with them. Â It is also our responsibility to understand that “TIME” means something different to the Lord than to us. Â (Remember the whole day is like a thousand years and visa versa to God?) Â We must Â believe always He is at work in a heart whether we SEE it with our eyes or not. Â Jesus is working his concept of Â ”time,” to move past hopelessness.
Trust: Â We live in a society where it is hard to know who we can rely on. Â Teaching a student why they can trust Jesus is huge. Â This means letting them know sometimes we can make mistakes, Â but HE is always trustworthy. Â The Lord isn’t one person on Facebook, Â another on Twitter and then there is the “real” God. Â He is always the same, Â and there is freedom in that. Â Yet, they need to learn WHY?
Teach: Â Bring the WORD before students and help them learn how the Lord is talking to them there. Â It may mean starting with “what” the Bible even is. Â That is fine. Take it word by word if necessary. Â However, Â never be afraid to teach students exactly who Christ is and where they can come to learn about Him.
“Nothing” is not an option when it comes to Jesus. Â He has an amazing plan and purpose with dreams fulfilled. Â However, Â it can’t be done on our own. Â That is why it is important our students know a “dream fulfilled” Â is only ever truly in Christ.
What do you feel helps students to understand hope deferred can be moved to Jesus?