Coming with questions ...
As a parent, it’s been fun to watch my kids grow. But it’s also bittersweet. My son will be 4 years old in a couple of months, and he just recently moved out of the toddler sizes and into the boys department.
It moves so quickly. As he grows physically, he also grows in his ability to think and reason. And with this growth come the questions. Oh, he is full of questions. It stays pretty basic at this point, mostly just asking “Why, Dad?” Circular and unending as it can be at times, he is simply searching to understand the world and trying to make sense of it all. But I know as he continues to grow so will the depth of his questions.
In our work at The Encounter, we’re accustomed to receiving lots of questions. The kids who spend time here come full of things they don’t fully understand. They process thousands of stimuli every day and their still-developing minds are racing to keep up. Just like my little boy, they are trying to make sense of their world, only their experiences make it that much harder to do so. And their questions go deep.
Many of the questions come from a lack of understanding. As we share the Bible and truth in our skate church programs, we’re often taken aback at the lack of basic knowledge that today’s generation has regarding the Bible. We recently received questions like “Where did Christianity come from?” and “Why should I believe the Bible?” We get asked about issues such as “What should I believe, creation or evolution?” or “Why is marriage through God/the Church?” It’s wonderful to be able to answer with God’s truth for these young men and women who are in search of something real.
Many of the questions come from a place of pain. Questions like “Why did my girlfriend dump me?” or “Why don’t I have many friends?” The struggles and hurts that young people carry often come through as they confide in our staff members. “Please pray for my mom’s colon cancer.” “I struggle with my family suffering. I’m about to give up.” Seeking more than simple answers, these questions signify a search for hope and meaning. Providing more than answers, we can give them an assurance that there is a God who loves them and has a plan for their lives.
Ultimately these questions lead us to the core of who we are. God created each one of us to know Him and be known by Him. “I worry if God loves me,” one young man confided to our staff members recently. Young people need to know who God is, which then helps them understand who they were made to be. Because of many faithful supporters in the Twin Ports, I’m thankful that each week these young people are met by staff members and volunteers who care enough to bring them the truth and stay beside them as they begin to walk it out in their lives.
We shouldn’t be afraid of questions. They will keep coming throughout our lives. But we must remember to entrust our questions to God and know that even when we don’t find a direct answer, He provides the strength we need to keep going.If you’d like to hear more about the lives being changed at The Encounter through the work of Youth for Christ, please join us at our annual celebration banquet. This evening will showcase the talents and stories of many young people who spend time at The Encounter. The event will take place on Saturday, April 14, at 6 p.m. More information is available at www.encounterduluth.com.