Preparing for the rain

I’m standing in front of the largest crowd to ever attend Wednesday night youth group at my church. The massive amount of teens is taking up more than half of the church basement.

I begin to talk to everyone, trying to get names and connect with the kids before we dive into the lesson. With so many new faces, I know that I’ll never be able to remember all of their names.

Eventually, we get to the lesson. As I try to teach, I feel the room closing in around me. There are so many people and I just know I’m going to mess this up.

You see, I’ve been doing this Youth Director thing for a while. However, we usually have 5-12 kids per night. Never this many. What am I going to do?

As I get more flustered, the kids begin talking to each other about things that definitely have nothing to do with my lesson. I try to get their attention, but the crowd is growing too loud. I climb into a chair to make them hear me, but no one is paying attention.

As I try to gain the vocal power to ask them to quiet down, Ed Sheeran walks in.

Oh, did I forget to mention this was a dream?

A few more things happened in the dream, but they were basically the same tone. I was trying to get a loud and large group of teens to listen to my lesson about Christ, but they were all there talking to one another and more interested in Ed Sheeran than the mess of a youth director who stood before them.

When I had this dream, I first wondered if it was about the actual group of kids I teach. I mean, were they really coming to church to hear about Christ or were they just there to hang out and see each other? Were they all too preoccupied with other things and unable to focus on what mattered?

Then, as I worked on the lesson for the following night, (we’re going through 1 Timothy) I realized it was actually a dream about me. Our study was about having the right person teaching in the church. The dream made me question my preparedness for the job.

The fact that I was clearly unprepared for that sort of attendance, and the fact that I was unable to grab the attention of the group, was more about me than it was the group.

Don’t misunderstand. I love the group and I feel that teaching them, and allowing them to teach me, is exactly what God would have me do. I just realized that I’ve been praying for something and not working as hard as I should on it.

I pray for our Youth Group daily. I pray for it to grow in size and understanding. I ask the kids to do the same. However, when I got a larger group, I was unprepared to take care of them. 

I realize that this is all hypothetical, and based on my own interpretation of a dream. And I am in no way claiming it as some sort of divine prophecy. I am, however, saying it was a wake-up call.

I told this same story to my group after the dream, because I feel that it’s my duty as their teacher to inform them that I don’t have it all together. I think it’s important to let them see that God is still working on me, even as He’s working through me.

Being a worker for Christ doesn’t mean being perfect in everything. It almost means the opposite. It means that you accept how flawed you are and you still do your best to show others how great He is.

It is now my prayer that God continue to prepare me to be the teacher He would have me be. And that He prepare me to work diligently to be ready, regardless of the crowd.

One of my favorite films, Facing the Giants, has an eye-opening scene. The dialogue is as follows:

“Grant, I heard a story about two farmers who desperately needed rain. And both of them prayed for rain, but only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive it. Which one do you think trusted God to send the rain?”

“Well, the one who prepared his fields for it.”

“Which one are you? God will send the rain when He’s ready. You need to prepare your field to receive it.”

That scene and my dream are telling me that I can’t ask God to move if I don’t expect Him to move. If I can’t prepare myself for the task at hand, why should I be asking Him to prepare the way for me?

He has given us the armor for every battle. (Ephesians 6) He has given a light for our every path. (Psalm 119:105) Take the next step forward in your walk. Ask Him to send you where He needs you, trusting that He will strengthen you for His work. (Isaiah 6:8)

If you think God is calling you to do something and His word backs that up, you should do it. Just dive in. You don’t have to be prepared. He will prepare you. 

Stop asking for Him to give you things that He’s already given. Just start working. 

If you’re waiting for a sign before you take the next step toward the path He has set for you, consider this your sign. If you are waiting to be a better person before asking Him to save your soul, stop waiting. The time is now. We may not have a later. Once you’ve let Him in, He will make you into a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

God is waiting to send the rain. Are you prepared for it?