My kids started school today. Jonah is beginning his last year of middle school, Jacob his first year of high school, and Hannah her last year in school while under my roof, a senior! All of these are important transition years, years where decisions are made and identities shaped, but for Hannah it’s the daunting precipice of change, a preparation to launch, to leave, to become. The thought of it can easily overwhelm her, but I find myself fighting some old sparring buddies as well, fear and worry. I think Matthew knew how Hannah and I feel. He records Jesus’ words to him and his fellow apostles as Jesus launched them into something new, terrifying and wrought with difficulty. Jesus’ words, as hard as they were to swallow, are filled with triumph and hope, two things I could use a heavy dose of today.
Read Matthew 10:16-33.
Fear not? Doesn’t he mean, fear a lot? He just laid out a path of persecution, pain and suffering for these guys. He said they’d be among wolves who try to look like sheep, people who will accuse them and throw stuff at them, and make them stand up and talk in front of people. Sounds a lot like high school to me! But then he says that their own families might turn against them and that essentially everyone will hate them. That’s a little much don’t you think? Even high school’s not that bad! How can Jesus tell his apostles not to be afraid?
It’s pretty awesome, really! Jesus reassures his apostles and us as well that the Spirit of the Father will be speaking through them, giving them the very words to say when they need to say them. (19-20) Not only will truth prevail and light overcome darkness, but God is not going to let them fall. (26-29) Sure trouble, hardship, persecution and even death are not off the table, but you’re never going to fall beyond the presence of the one who knows you and loves you perfectly and completely. If that doesn’t inspire confidence, what can? Jesus makes it pretty simple: “Make my name known in your world, and I’ll make yours known in mine.” He thought his apostles could do it, and they did. He died, rose, and gave his Spirit to us so that we can too, despite any difficulty that comes our way!
This momma needs to know that today. A Father who knows every hair on Hannah’s head inspires awe. If you’ve seen Hannah’s hair you’ll know what I’m talking about! This good daddy knows and loves her so well. He has a secure future in store for her with Him forever. Bring it on, senior year. We’re not afraid.