Hello all, my name is Lyndon, and I am a member of the 7pm congregation here at St Michael’s. As 2020 comes to a close and I write this letter, I stand amazed at how God has worked this year, while I completed a gap year in the Youthworks Year 13 program.
A one-liner from a Year 13 graduate has stuck in my head all year. At Orientation Week, she said, “Don’t have any expectations; even though you think you don’t have any, you do, so get rid of them”. The line was greeted with a brief chuckle among our cohort. Although it was a blanket-like statement, she wanted us to get rid of any bias coming into the year and start with a clean slate. Not bad advice.
But no one in that room thought that our basic expectations were not going to be met. Things like:
- Our short-term mission trip to Fiji;
- On campus lectures every week;
- Stream overlap on campus;
- Completing our ministries.
Some of these came back after a while living with COVID, but others vanished indefinitely.
Now her line has really challenged me as I have gone through Year 13 because it has forced me to really think about what my expectations are going into anything.
All of those things above went out the window by March this year. So I was forced to change my expectations and depend more on God. I was challenged about what I expect in any situation.
Was my expectation to complete Year 13 as advertised? Absolutely! But now I am challenged to step back from the task and focus more on God. Through constant study of his word and praising him in 2020, I am now looking to expect this first and foremost at all times: that God be glorified.
At the start of this year, I turned to the task first, thinking that those basics were for certain… When in reality, I should always turn to God first, because he and his promises are always for certain!
The Lord’s Prayer is a perfect example of how we do this. Jesus models glorifying God first, seeking his will, his thoughts, his purposes first, and then asking for our daily bread.
At Year 13, we spent a whole term going through the Lord’s Prayer together. It was awesome to wrestle over it with staff and other students. But living it out, every day – that is hard.
But praise God that he gives us his Son, his Spirit, his Word, his people, and he gives us another day. He gives us another day to trust him. Even though we fail or get thrown around by this broken world, he brushes us off and gives us another day to put our trust in him. Praise God for that!
Merry Christmas everyone. Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.