Summer is almost here, and the excitement is everywhere! I can hear it in the song of the birds in the early dawn and in the shouts of children as they leave their desks and head for the freedom of freshly mowed lawns. Perhaps it is the extra vitamin D, perhaps it is the promise cookouts and campfires with roasted marshmallows, but there is a joy this time of year that is wondrous to behold.
One of my favorite things about this time of year is the Educational Scholarships that we award. Every year since I came here, we have provided scholarships to students in our local communities. Helping defray the cost of further education, as they seek to integrate their Faith with a career that will give them the ability to effectively serve both God and their fellow Man, is really only a small part of what this Scholarship does. Perhaps just as importantly, it affirms them as young men and young women of Faith. But in addition to that, these Scholarships also provide me with the opportunity to go and speak about our Church and our Faith in assemblies at our local public high schools.
This past month, as I have made the circuit from Leechburg to Kiski to Apollo-Ridge, I have been so privileged to have interacted with other community leaders and seen how important the message of the Gospel is to them and for them. Our local communities long for the Truth which we have been made Stewards of. They don’t always realize it, but you can see it in their eyes; they ache for Truth and for the Freedom that comes from knowing that Truth. And while this is true all the time, I find it to be especially poignant at this time of year when students are graduating from High School and moving on to the next stage of their lives.
Big life changes are always a little scary, but without the Hope of the Gospel, they can be unbearably so. For many High School graduates, they are leaving behind the only stability they have ever really known. Looking to the future without any idea of what to expect. Of course, the promise of the Gospel is that they can expect that God will take care of them no matter what, that His grace will cover even the worst of their lapses in judgment, and that so long as they seek Him above all else, He will grant them wisdom and discernment and blessing.
In fact, this is God’s promise for all of us. And that is a good thing. Because we all face changes that can be scary. So let us celebrate the new life that blossoms in Spring and then flourishes in the Summer. And let look to God for the Grace and Wisdom to move forward into the unknown… because there is nothing that is unknown to Him.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.
~ Psalms 65:5-8 ~