Summer 2017 has come to a close. In the words of our students, I get “all the feels” looking back on it. There were lake days, an incredible beach trip, and lazy evenings grilling out at home. I am so thankful for these sweet memories with my family. But more than this, I get “all the feels” when I look back and think on what the Lord has done this summer.
We studied some of Paul’s letters at camp with our youth this summer. In 2 Timothy, Paul tells Timothy that he has been “poured out like a drink offering”. This phrase grabbed me. After Paul met Jesus, his life was completely different. He spent the rest of his days pouring out for the glory of God, because as Christ followers, that’s what we’re called to do. We are called to pour out God’s love so that those who don’t know Him will come to know Him and so that those who do know Him can know Him more deeply. So, after camp, this became my prayer for the rest of the summer, that the Lord would pour me out like a drink offering for His glory.
And despite my many failures, the Lord answered this prayer. Looking back on the summer, the Lord answered on the days where my exhaustion was at its highest. When I wasn’t sure how I’d have the energy to change one more diaper, the Lord kept providing, because working in our weaknesses is exactly what the Lord tells us He will do in 1 Corinthians 12:9. When we are at our most tired, that’s when the Lord gets the most glory. He keeps pouring us out and we know that it is only because of His strength, because our strength ran out at about 7:30 that morning.
In the middle of one of our busiest weeks this summer, I got an offer to keep “pouring out”, an offer to teach part time at the school I had previously been at. After seeing the Lord work this summer, my prayer is that the Lord would keep pouring me out this school year. I pray that He would keep pouring me out in our home, that I would love and serve my husband and my children well, that He would pour me out in my classroom, and that I would love and serve my students well. I want my students to leave my classroom loving Jesus, maybe even some of them for the very first time.
So, the 2017-2018 school year has officially begun. And to anyone who is reading this, I’m praying that the Lord pours you out too. I’m praying He pours you out when you’re at your limit, so that you know that it’s only by God’s grace that you’re still going forward. How awesome would it be for us to see the Lord do incredible things this school year, something so incredible that we know that it was only the Lord that could do something so great?
Teachers, I’m praying He pours you out in your classroom. I’m praying you serve your students and love them well. I’m praying you see them for who they are. I’m praying you’re Jesus with skin on to them. After all, you might be the only glimpse of Jesus they’ll ever see.
Parents, I’m praying He pours you out as you drive your kids to school, as you pick them up, and as you help them with their homework. I’m praying your times as a family are filled with God glorifying conversations where you’re pouring Jesus into your kids, no matter what age they are. I’m praying He pours you out on the ball field as you sit next to that mom or dad who doesn’t know Him, that you’ll be bold in sharing Jesus with them.
Students, I’m praying that He pours you out in your schools, that you’ll be bold in sharing the Gospel with your peers, your teammates, and your teachers. I’m praying that He pours you out so much that your entire campus is changed for the glory of God.
And to anyone else reading this who isn’t in “back to school” mode, I pray that the Lord pours you out wherever you are- your workplace, your home, hanging out with your friends. I pray He uses you to be bold for Him, that He uses you to encourage others, and that He uses you to serve others. We’re all called to pour out for His glory, no matter what season of life we’re in.
I can’t wait to see how the Lord works for His glory this school year. I hope and pray that when the last bell rings for summer, that we can look back in amazement on all that He has done. I pray that we can see how He has poured us out for His glory and that a work was done that only the Lord could do. Lord, we are ready for what you have in store for 2017-2018!
*Disclaimer: You can’t pour out unless you’re being poured into by the Living Water. Be filled with Jesus. Let His Word dwell in you. That’s the only way you’ll truly be able to pour out for the glory of God!