"But you, God, shield me on all sides;
You ground my feet, you lift my head high."
-Psalm 3:3 (MSG).
In this passage the psalmist David is consumed with his own life - many believe that he penned it while in hiding. It's a sad story of David's flight from his own palace when, in the dead of night, he escapes to the brook Kedron, leaving with a few faithful followers to hide himself for awhile from the fury of his rebellious son, Abaslom.
David is consumed with his own life. I mean, who wouldn't be? But in this passage David, in the midst of extreme heartache, becomes aware of God's overwhelming presence. God meets David where he is and opens David's eyes, gives him perspective and vision and hope. God lifts David's head.
The adolescent journey, especially in today's world, is quite difficult. We know this as youth workers- it's a complex world to grow up in. Today, with cell phones and social media, we have a world consumed with self. If we're honest though, the world has always been this way, this has always been humanities bent - it's our natural inclination. But then throw social media into the mix and you'll have the perfect storm. The adolescent journey, hopefully is all about our heads being lifted up from ourselves and on to others and the world. It's the process of moving from a self-consumed life to a life that is aware of the needs around them and hopefully aware of God and his calling on us to make a difference everywhere we go.
I would even say that the lifting of our heads is a form of mercy. My eyes are stuck on my needs, my problems, my desires, my appetites - then all of a sudden, in mercy, God lifts my head and gives me his eyes. What a relief! He lifts my head and helps me see all of life through his eyes.
This is youth ministry. We get the amazing privilege of joining God in lifting students' heads. Every time we run into a kid at the mall, every time we give a talk, every time we're on a mission trip or retreat - we get to join God in lifting their heads; making them aware of others and aware of this amazing God who is longing to give them his eyes and heart for the world.
When you're at youth group this week, may your head be lifted and may you never forget who he is, who you are, and why you're there. May you join the God of ALL mercy in lifting those amazing peoples' heads. Together, with his empowering Spirit we can join him!
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