In ministry, and just life just in general, it is really easy to trust the Lord, when you can clearly see the ways He is working; when it is obvious. But, when times are tough and things aren’t really working out the way we planned, I feel like our first instinct as humans is to doubt Jesus. We doubt that He could make something good come of our hardships and we try to take control for ourselves. And, if I am being honest, that’s definitely my first instinct. But there was one instance recently that made me realize how crazy I am for doubting how powerful the literal King of the universe is and how He can work in even the most closed off and complacent of hearts.
A Retreat to Remember
Our team is a discipleship team at a school in California and we host retreats for each grade both semesters. A few weeks ago, we had a sophomore retreat up in the mountains and we were all really excited for a three day retreat because we knew a lot of the students already. But, we realized by the first session that it was going to be a tough retreat. The students had more energy than I have ever seen and not in the most positive way. They were having a really great time when we were playing games, but they didn’t really pay attention to any of the more serious talks, testimonies, or worship. It seemed as if they were getting nothing out of it.
Jesus Changes Everything
So, leading up to the big night of adoration, we were all feeling pretty defeated, thinking that the students either didn’t care or weren’t desiring to enter into this retreat spiritually. I thought that I hadn’t done enough for the students–that we hadn’t done a good enough job. But, the Lord quickly showed us how little control we had in all of this and all we had to do was set the stage for Him to do the real work.
Adoration starts. Jesus was there and it was completely out of our hands. Within 15 minutes, the prayer ministry stations were flooded with students asking for healing and for the Lord to show them that He loves them. The worship leader started to play and students were lifting their hands to Christ ready to receive His love. I had never felt the Holy Spirit more present in a retreat in my whole life. It was a complete transformation from the beginning of this chaotic retreat and the students were completely invested in every second for the rest of the weekend. We all very quickly realized how wrong we all were to doubt the love and peace of Jesus for even a moment.
What We Learned
This retreat taught us that even when we can’t fully see the work of the Lord, we have to trust that He is moving. We also learned that we have no control over anything and it is a gift to surrender. This experience has shown all of us the importance of simply giving everything we have, surrendering every youth we encounter over to Jesus and letting Him care of it.
Jesus, we surrender ourselves to you, take care of everything.
Peace and Blessings,