Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
that he may lift you up in due time. (I Peter 5:6 NIV)
Perhaps my favorite thing I learned during my first year of college ministry is summed up in that verse.
[Thanks for reading this series on major things I learned in my first year of college ministry. The series will continue to be available right here, for you or your student leaders!]
Each week of that school year, I found myself in that glorious, terrible, wonderful cycle of humbling and lifting. After our Bible study would end on Thursday nights, the weekend brought me to my knees once again – begging God to show me what our group needed for the next week and asking that He might work among us.
God lovingly chose to impress me with the weight of my task, with the understanding that “not many of us should presume to be teachers,” that I would indeed – and should indeed – be judged more strictly. He mercifully revealed the magnitude of shepherding people – in this case a group of freshmen for whom I would be held accountable to some extent.
So each week, I was humbled before the fact that unless God worked among us, we would be better off taking naps in our dorm rooms. At least then, something worthwhile would be accomplished. But if God did reveal and convict and encourage and move…
So the stakes were high – always a humbling situation.
And each week, I saw God lift me and my partner up “in due time” – just long enough to glorify Him and love our students. A huge part of this was coming to understand what we needed to teach – whether the realization hit a few days before Thursday night – or a few hours before. And other “lifting” happened, too – energy, wisdom, student participation, and everything else. Certainly, we didn’t do everything right. But I can happily recall that God, in His faithfulness, lifted us up just the same.
And then Friday or Saturday or Sunday, when the time came to think about the new week’s task, we were back on our knees, begging God to move among us.
I will always treasure the memory of spending a year walking through that glorious cycle. At times, I’ve forgotten. I don’t want to.