So for the past three Monday evenings our middle schoolers have met up for our summer gathering at a family’s home in our community. We call it “Dive In” because we dive in to God’s word and then literally take a dive (well, its not quite deep enough…so a splash) in their pool. Its been pretty cool – nothing special. In fact, last night felt pretty ordinary, if not sub-par. I have been battling a stinking cough, and it seems each week the boys get rougher and rougher (plus a few girls have come out of their shells and now make it their goal to sneak attack water fight Brummy for the entire time in the pool).
Whats so cool about this is students bring friends. Whats so cool about last night is three friends who came – who at first were super uncomfortable. They don’t necessarily do the whole church thing, they didn’t think they knew anyone, and it was a strange house. For the rest of the students it was an ordinary night. But for these three – God took our ordinary and did something extraordinary.
My beautiful wife made sure the two girls were talked to, sat by, and welcomed the entire time. The other students said hi, some recognizing them from their schools. And something cool happened – we did a bible study – an actual super challenging one for middle schoolers about loving those who hate you. Examining how strong a statement that was.
And through all this – something was happening in these girls. The one told us her friend wasn’t down with the whole God and church thing – and yet my wife talked with her, gave her a bible, and the girl was really wanting to come back. One of them took an instagram picture and said it was “the best night of her life.” I night that otherwise I would have thought was just ordinary, even sub-par.
These girls taught me a lesson tonight. First – God is in the habit of doing extraordinary things when we least expect it. I had no idea who these students were when mom called me to say they were lost. I don’t know their story – I want to know it. Part of me was dragging because of this cough and being tired. And yet – in spite of all the reasons I couldn’t or I just let it be ordinary – God did something great.
Second – God used middle schoolers to make this happen. We would never have contact with these students if one of ours didn’t make the first contact. If he didn’t take that step to invite them into this journey, to make them known, so they could experience something extraordinary where we would think of it as ordinary. I am so blessed to be in this journey with Jesus, with my wife, with my leaders, with middle school students.
God is doing some extraordinary things – and he often does them when we least expect, in the most ordinary circumstances.