“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. the old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.”-2 Corinthians 5:17
A couple of weeks ago we had the first ever WKU Cru senior banquet. It was the first ever because this is the first time (to my knowledge) that there has been a group of seniors large enough to merit such an event. Usually in student ministry, people are really involved their freshman and sophomore year and then gradually taper off. That has not been the case with our class. In what we discovered was a direct answer to prayer, God rose up in us a class of leaders that has endured for the duration of our college careers. In the words of one of our staff women, we came in as freshman and hit the ground running.
Throughout the banquet we heard from leaders within our movement who encouraged and commissioned us. The floor was then opened for students to share. What followed left me both humbled and awe-struck. Student after student stood and told how people in our graduating class had impacted them. Every person who spoke was able to point to clear ways God had used seniors in their lives.
I looked around and thought “this isn’t normal.” This is not what most people experience during their college years. God has been mind-blowingly faithful. He has been good to us. He has done something remarkable. When you’re involved in something like a summer project, summer camp, or mission trip, it’s easier to see the work God is doing. You become extremely close to a group of people in a short amount of time and watch God work in tremendous ways. Your goal is singular and His presence is very obvious. It’s harder to see that over the span of four years. It’s hard to realize that God is orchestrating something holy when you’re going to class, doing homework, trying, failing, and learning.
When you hear people saying things about you that are so encouraging it’s hard to believe. Your natural reaction is to defer those compliments because you know yourself. You know your sin. “They can’t be talking about me.” you think. It’s not me, it’s the Holy Spirit. And that’s true, it’s only by the work of the Holy Spirit that we are able to bless others. Paul said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)
But I think we miss something there, or at least I do. God is literally making you new. He’s constantly, faithfully, continually molding and shaping you into someone more holy than you were when you met Him. He’s making you in to the type of person who touches people’s lives, who gives their all on behalf of others, who speaks with wisdom and teaches with grace. He is making you a person people want to stand up and testify about. His love is transforming you.
Rich Pond pastor Steve Hussung says, “We’re not microwaves, we’re crock pots. I’m not who I want to be but by God’s grace I’m not who I was.”
It’s not normal for a group of young adults to spend their college careers growing in love for the Lord and for one another. But by His grace, that’s what He gave us. That’s what He gave me. As it all draws to a close over the next two weeks, I am grateful. Praise the Lord that after all this time, we are still running.
“I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will be carry in on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 1:6