On Saturday, I watched my "little boy" graduate from Ravenwood High School. Simply because his last name starts with "B", he was in charge of leading one side of the processional entry in the graduation ceremony. The moment I saw this 6'2" son of mine walking down the aisle as the graduation music played, dressed in his red robe and red hat, with the hundreds of other students in tow, I caught my breath. Up until this point, only my mind had accepted this milestone of his, but now my heart was involved.As I sat through the different graduation speeches, there was a gentle whispering in my soul: remember who you are. This phrase took me back in time because I have spoken it to each of my kids over the years, especially when they leave one familiar place and walk into another. The culture, the media, and their peers persistently shout to each of them, telling them who they are "supposed to be"; but they too, must choose to be still and listen to the whispering truth that resides within their soul.When my older son Bink entered high school (he is now 21), I wrote words to define the phrase remember who you are; nothing fundamentally has changed over the passing years, except that my stake in the ground has been steadfastly pounded more firmly and more deeply. These words are for you as well, my fellow believer:
REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE
I am what the world calls a "Jesus freak," but what I call "saved by grace."I am living for the One who died for me.
I salt the earth with His kindness; I light the world with His love.
I choose to walk by faith and not by sight, and to dance to the beat of a different drum.
I am the one who has Power beyond my own strength, Peace beyond my own understanding, and Purpose beyond my own ambitions.
I am the one who answers to the Commander of the Universe; and yet, I am also calmed by His Spirit that lives in me.
Because of Christ Jesus, I am living Life to the fullest--yesterday, today, and FOREVER.
I am changed; I am more than I am.I am a vessel that holds a treasure, a lamp that shines a light, and a well that springs a fountain.
And with these abiding truths, I am the one who is pursuing YOU, my friend, the way He has passionately pursued me. I am His ambassador. I am His image bearer. I am His messenger.
By the grace of God, I am who I am.
I am a Christ follower. I am free.
So, as I sat in the midst of thousands of hopeful parents as well as supportive loved ones, all of us peering down into a sea of bright red robes, I found myself wanting to shout at the top of my lungs to my gentle giant sitting in the first chair, first row, "Davey, always, always, always remember who you are."
Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him (Stephen). But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Acts 8:2-3
We lift to you the people in this world who are being fiercely persecuted for their faith. Surround them as a shield; protect them from evil. Give them peace in the midst of uncertainties and assurance of your presence. Strengthen their faith in these trying times. Amen.