I felt challenged to write about how our reactions speak volumes. Often it is said that our actions do, but so do our reactions. This thought came from a scenario after our youth group a couple of weeks ago. Every Monday afternoon me and my line manager get together and pray for all the young people associated with our church, even if they have only been to one of our groups once. This has only been happening for a few weeks, but already it’s one of my favourite times of the week where God has really spoken to us about many of the young people. This particular week we received images for many of the young people and after our youth session felt compelled to tell 2 of them. These 2 young people, lets call them J and F have been coming regularly for at least a year and a half, they have a lot going on in their lives, struggles and their teenage lads who just are striving for happiness. Neither are Christians but with clear pictures for each of them, we felt the need to share these.
Their reactions consisted of some awkward shrugs, nods and then when praying for them there was some giggles – the true fact coming out that they are teenage boys and what we told them was a bit weird, a bit new and something which may have been confusing.
I believe their reactions really spoke to me and my line manager, Katie. In our debrief we shared with the other leaders how this went, and what their reactions were, I feel that their reactions spoke of 2 boys boys searching for answers in life, that when confronted with God speaking to them through other people, it freaked them out, weirded them out. Confused them, surprised them and probably was not what they had expected in their evening.
But we can use their reactions, we can cling on to the nods, and hope that just something of what we said they related to, we can pray about where to go next with them . I think they actually listened, that they let us pray for them spoke to us, and encouraged us and is helping us move on in our relationship with them and hopefully in their relationships with God.
This also reminded me about a situation in the Bible, in Luke 5, starting at verse 1, where Simon Peter was challeneged to put his boat out further by Jesus, even when he had been trying to catch fish all night. I can imagine Simon thinking, “Come on Jesus I’m the pro here, this is my job, and I haven’t caught anything and then you, a carpenter come along and tell me how to do my job. I don’t think so mate.” Obviously this is me reading into it slightly (!!) but Simon does confront Jesus he says “Master, we worked hard all night and didn’t catch a thing.” But then he carries on, and his obiedence to Jesus in this passage stands out, “But if you say do, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this results in a massive catch, so many fish the boats were nearly sinking. With this is Simons reaction, the one this situation made me think of, Simon fell on his knees before Jesus, and was ‘awestruck.’ Simon also declared himself too much of a sinner to be in Jesus’ presence, but Jesus is not like this, we can all come into his presence, however much we sin, because of what he did on the cross for us.
Simons reaction spoke to me as well as J and F’s,