“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
The “almost, but not quite yet” can include a mix of peace, worry, joy, frustration, hope, doubt, optimism, and anxiety. Personally, when I am in a period of waiting, not fully knowing what lies ahead, I jump between these various emotions. I don’t have full control or a full visual of what is coming, and so I question, I doubt, I think and at the same time I find hope, peace and joy in the process as I look ahead.
Many of you know that my wife and I are expecting our first child mid-December. If you didn’t know this, now you do! We don’t know names, we don’t know gender, we don’t know exactly when the baby will poke it’s head out, we don’t know how the baby will come out, we don’t know what the baby will look like, we can’t predict any complications that may come, and we certainly can’t predict what sports the baby will like in its high school years or if it will go to college. In the process of baby-brewing and belly-growing, there are a lot of things we don’t know. We can guess and say that it will likely have my prominent chin and Macy’s cheekbones, but we will need to wait to see our child to truly know the answers. There is certainly a baby in Macy’s belly, but we wait in hopeful expectation to find out all the unknowns.
The baby process has me thinking about the blessing of expectation and anticipation. It provides the opportunity to practice faith and trust, of which a lot is required in Young Life. Young Life leaders anticipate that kids’ lives will be changed, that more adults will become Young Life leaders, that communities will be impacted, that they will somehow be used to communicate God’s extravagant love, and that they, as leaders, will grow immensely in the process. They don’t know that these things will happen, they don’t even know if someone will provide pizza for club on a Monday night, but they have faith and trust that God is actively working.
Young Life is driven by volunteers and it’s my role to train, encourage, organize, support, and love each of them as they chase kids in Redmond, Carnation and Duvall. In the midst of many unknowns, these Young Life leaders selflessly and sacrificially serve kids, families, and schools in the community, even if a period of anticipating the Lord’s work is difficult. They usually don’t see immediate results from their efforts. Still, they go, they serve, they invest… and they wait upon the Lord to use their efforts. They believe that the Holy Spirit is alive. That He goes before them and with them. So, they give of their time in busy lives. They give their love in a world that needs it so badly. They put aside money, belongings, job promotions, social status, and they embody the nature of a servant.
I’m incredibly thankful for the Young Life leaders we have in Redmond because they each have eternally significant relationships with kids in our community. They are expectant for what they cannot see, and hopeful for what they are unsure of. With a whole lot of faith and trust, Young Life leaders anticipate that Jesus is at work. It’s interesting that this time of expectation lines up with the Advent/Christmas season where we practice patience and excitement for the coming of the baby Jesus, who was much more than a baby. They essentially do what Jesus himself did. They go to where kids are in the same way that Jesus came to where we are.
Peder can be reached via email.