Lord I Need People to Need You

Well it has been quite some time since my last post, but I’d consider that to be a good thing. It means I’ve been busy living life and doing things worth blogging about but not having the time and energy to sit down and do so. Finally though I have time and energy and some things worth saying so here it goes.

I spent last week with a couple hundred middle schoolers and a couple dozen very dedicated and Godly volunteers where I had the best week of E-camp I may have ever experienced, but I’ll get to that in a minute. I’d like to talk about a song I heard for the first time on the radio a couple days after I got back from camp. It’s a really catchy boy band song that I would love to say is just awful, but really, I kinda like it. The basic lyric summary is pretty standard for boy bands- sees girl, wants girl, nothing else matters. Compared to some of the garbage coming on the radio currently its pretty safe but when I heard it that day it really rubbed me the wrong way.

Here’s why: The chorus is simply this…

All I wanna be, yeah all I ever wanna be, yeah, yeah
Is somebody to you
All I wanna be, yeah all I ever wanna be, yeah, yeah
Is somebody to you

Nothing vulgar or even remotely suggestive, but my problem isn’t really even the song, its the world in which the song was written. I just spent a week trying to teach some wonderful teens that they have been made in God’s perfect image but that through our sin we have broken and distorted that image. Thankfully though God sent His Son to restore that perfect image in each of us. We talked long and hard about the different sins that caused the perfect image to be ruined and how the world tries to convince you that there is a certain image you must have (not God’s image) or else you are doing something wrong. We talked about sports, school, extra-currciculars, social media, movies, music, video games, fashion, relationships, and all sorts of things that we has humans are told need to be our image so that we can be somebody important or cool. But that is NOT what we were created to be. We were created to be like God; perfect in HIS IMAGE. What bothered me so much was that, even in such a subtle way, this song was saying that this person needed to be somebody different not because they there was anything wrong before, but simply because that was what image needed to be created to please some girl. I felt like the message that I had been preaching all week was being literally attacked. I grew really attached to those kids, especially my 6th grade boys, and I did not want them to forget what image they needed to be reflecting because of the way the world constantly tries to change their image and tell them their’s isn’t good enough.

I had an experience that was completely new to me at camp. Wednesday night after the whole of what we had been learning had essentially been explained and wrapped up, we sang what is easily my favorite worship song, Lord I Need You by Matt Maher. I absolutely adore the simplicity but power that the lyrics hold. As I was singing I noticed a very peculiar feeling coming over me. I realized I was staring off in a weird direction and I was beginning to cry. It became clear to me that I was staring at a handful of my 6th grade guys who had particularly difficult stories and had not always been the easiest to deal with as campers, but I felt they had been learning important things throughout the week. I honestly don’t know how this works but I just had this wave wash over me and I was no longer singing the song about myself; I was singing about those boys. I was pleading partially with them and partially with God so desperately they realize and believe these words.

Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

I wanted nothing more than for them to understand how much they need God and that He is the only one that they need to be somebody to, but that He is also the only one who they will always be a somebody to. A somebody who is a child of God that is unconditionally and unfathomably loved. A somebody that God sent His only son to die for so that they could spend eternity with Him. A somebody made in His perfect image. It was one of the most painful experiences I may have ever had up to this point in life. Maybe this is what it feels like as a parent trying to point your kids to the cross and help them understand the endless love that God has for all of us broken people. 

To more than counter the pain of that experience, I was tremendously blessed to have three of my guys realize that truth and get baptized, one of which I helped with his “group dunking.” (See below)

2014-07-09 16.58.07

Being a part of something as beautiful as baptism for the first time on the “baptizer” side was an unforgettable experience that I pray I am able to experience many more times as a youth minister. Words cannot describe the joy I felt and still feel recalling the moment.

I don’t really know how it can get better than talking about baptism so I guess I’ll wrap this up.

My prayer for you is the same prayer I pray for those boys. That you would realize that you are made in God’s perfect and wonderful image but that you have sinned and shattered that image. And that you would realize that there is nothing you can do to fix this but to turn to God and say,

“Lord I need you”

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