Free to live

by Jon Reeverts

It’s only Wednesday!

Yet across a few days I have had so many conversations filled with nervous excitement.

Since last week I have been counting down to the beginning of school… It's a weird habit, I know, but 38 years of teaching tends to create a few grooves in one’s biological calendar.

When the fireworks have subsided and the county fair is around the corner, school is next.

In years past that has been cause for lifting up many prayers. We have prayed for the kids, the teachers, in days past - for the security of our schools and we have prayed before and after games. We have prayed for provision for kids with special needs and for their families; I have gathered with individuals to pray over lockers walking the halls on the weekend, or at night after work; we have prayed around the flagpole and participated in prayer walks. I have gathered with teachers, administrators and staff to pray specifically for the needs of our school and kids before school. And, hundreds have prayed with and for me over these years.

God has answered prayers

Prayer is a powerful weapon! Scripture points to this over and over.

Two things have happened this week that track together. One is the excitement and dialogue with students, parents, staff and community about everyone’s desire to return to school - more than I've ever seen. And a nervousness that disappointment is crouching at the door, waiting to rob everyone's joy.

The second is the number of prayers over the same group and, of course, the primary hope that COVID will disappear. That thought picked up momentum starting last Friday.

The world has walked through the valley of the shadow of death for months and drags that baggage with them wherever they go, but there is hope, because all along this path we have been gathering data, experience, a history, so can see the developing results. In addition millions of prayers have been lifted up.

Recently, Jenny and I have decided to forgo satellite, cable, internet TV options for awhile. We have two days left on our YouTube TV subscription. Today, I opened my day with a light workout, and God put this verse on my heart - I will praise you as long as I live (LORD) and I will lift up my hands in your name. (Psalm 63:4) I wrote it on a wall of our home.

Not twenty minutes later, when I decided to tap into my YouTube TV subscription, an interview from a prominent Stanford doctor, spoke specifically to peoples' prayers. I don’t know how much traction it will get, but his statements were like a knockout punch to the fears parents and staff and kids have been harboring. It was freeing! I was nearly delirious!

It was like Moses setting his people free. It was like knocking on the door of the promised land. It was like the image of Jesus in the Passion of the Christ, praying in the garden of Gethsemane, standing up and driving his heel through the head of the snake.

I have prayed for our kids and against the darkness since this virus went viral!

I pray that your prayers are being answered as you make decisions about returning to school. I pray that parents’ hearts are set free from the burden of fear. I pray that the science and data not only speak to the public school sector, but to kid’s ministries at churches, to those churches hesitating to minister publicly, to youth groups, to athletic organizations and to our communities that... God is in control; HE has been faithful and has opened a pathway to celebrate living the Life of Christ out in meaningful and even "normal" ways.

Our prayers continue.


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