He was sitting at home in front of a screen on this Sabbath morning as many of us have done over the past six months—listening to the message–God’s word. The pastor was reading from the book of Luke and the verse, Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer. (Luke 21:14). And he preached on the need to settle in our hearts—commit to the Lord and since the pandemic many young people had decided to settle it in their hearts.
Midway through the service the church doors opened and this young man, he walked straight up to the altar. He didn’t wait on an altar call—he knew in his heart the one who was calling him and he couldn’t wait any longer. And he bowed on his knees—asking God for forgiveness and Jesus, into his heart. And right there, he settled it. The Lord and him.
She was listening with her Mama–Wednesday evening service. Little ears hearing the message of the gospel preached so much so a child could understand. Quietly she went into another room by herself, got down on knees–knees barely five-years old and asked Jesus to come into her heart. And once the church doors opened again she sat on the steps of the altar alongside her pastor and he read her God’s Holy scriptures about salvation–forgiveness. And once again, she said the words, I am saved and shared she wanted to be baptized.
The message on my phone read, ‘My daughter wanted me to tell you, she got saved tonight.’ And I could only imagine her seven-year-old smile and the scene where she asked her Mama more questions and then bowed with her Grandpa and prayed. And she too accepted Jesus into her heart during the time services were cancelled.
He wiped tender tears from his cheeks and his step-Dad placed a gentle hand on his back and they walked back into the church after Sunday service had long ended. Our pastor, this boy and his step-Dad sitting on the altar–settling it in his young heart. And the altar, it is always open.
And last Sunday our pastor shared with us another young person in our congregation gave their heart to Jesus. His church–the doors are never closed.
Right in the middle of what seems to be a forever pandemic. And five young people give their hearts to Jesus–trusting in Him with childlike faith. Long before COVID closed our sanctuaries, Sunday School classroom chairs sat empty–there were roots planted. Deep plantings in these children’s hearts in sacred places–in the sanctuary–the Sunday School classroom– homes, and yes, even in schools.
I met with her on a summer day–6 feet apart with masks covering our smiles. She’s registering for her first year of college. And she’s excited. Her plans are to study to become a teacher and make a difference in the lives of children. We planned her schedule, talked about future plans and said our good-byes.
My office phone rang just shortly after that and it was her– the same young lady who shares the name of a woman in the Old Testament whose bravery helped King David fight against the enemy.
She said, ‘After I left school, God laid it on my heart to pray for you, pray over you, Ms. Miller. Is it okay if I pray for you now?’ And there over the phone lines she asked God to keep me safe and the students safe during our meetings and continued blessings for the upcoming school year.
Our young people–they are doing hard things. They are doing brave things. And they are listening to the call of obedience. God–He is calling some mighty warriors in the next generation and we as adults need to take notice. The church will only be as strong as the body of believers are united. And our young people–they are leading the way.
Romans 10:17, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Photos by Jill Miller Woodie