Wow, junior high kids are highly amusing. Their thought process is simply not the same as an adult. They also have energy beyond belief, and say the dardnest things.
I just spent a week as a speaker at a jr. high church camp in California. We spent the week in tents, saw deer, swam in a sad lake, and had way too much sugar.
It was a good time.
Each and every one of the kids that came has their own story that can be told. Each of them is made in the image of God. Each of them has something beautiful to offer.
And each of them also has a need for Jesus to be their Deliverer.
I spoke about Jesus as the Needed Deliverer, the Mighty Deliverer, the Constant Deliverer, and the Purposeful Deliverer. Some of the concepts went over the kids’ heads, but a lot of what was said struck into hearts. It was beautiful to see eyes opened.
Yet as some of the eyes were opened, I realized that God doesn’t call me to save adolescent boys out of being awkward. God calls me to love these kids in their awkwardness.
It is hard to let a kid be crazy during camp, and not feel like I have to come to the rescue. But a week of not showering or changing underwear wont kill a kid (these things are found out afterwards from parents… and water parks are basically the same as a shower, right?). A life without being loved though, that will seriously harm a kid. When we love on a kid when they are awkward and crazy, that will help them more than taking a wet rag to their five meal layered face ever will (… don’t get me started).
God loves on us as we awkwardly progress in our Christian walk. Many of us have our junior high cap on when we set before God in prayer or in Scripture. We do not see the consequences of our actions, are hormone driven, think that our pain is the worst pain, and don’t really care to look in the mirror (most of these are basically my reflections on jr high boys. I know girls are slightly different in 5-8th grade).
So join with me in thanking God for the adults who walk with jr. high kids through their awkward years. And also join with me in rejoicing that God loves on us through our awkward years too.