Teenagers are often held to such low standards. Working with teenagers teaches me a great deal!
I was having lunch with a friend, which I so often do. Walking into this time together, I expected to be the one listening and leading toward Jesus throughout the conversation. What I so often forget is that there are times God is needing to lead me, not have me do the leading for someone else.
During this lunch, I made a hope comment “I hope this works out for you” or something along those lines. The young teen looks me square in the eyes and says “There is only so much we can put our hope in.” The conversation continued, lunch ended, and we went on our way. I had a feeling of incompleteness wrestling within me. Her comment about hope stuck with me all day.
That evening, I was hearing from another teenager. She was expressing the struggle of so many friends putting her down at school, her lack of ability to believe her boyfriend, and a desire to trust her father who was making another promise, after so many promises unkept. That’s when the truth of scripture finally hit me!
“…and surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20
Let those words sink in. As we understand it, these are the final words of Christ right before ascending back into heaven. He’s telling his apostles where they need to place their hope. Hope in Christ is foundational, unwavering, and will hold us up! It will never fail us.
So I responded to this teenager that was experiencing so many people letting her down with this: When we place our hope in people, we fall hard. It hurts. Because people will never fully come through for us like Christ will. People, items, places, will always let us down. The incompleteness I was experiencing earlier in the day was the realization God was giving me that I had been putting so much hope in people.
When we put our hope in Christ, we know it will be an unfailing stronghold. There is only so much we can put our hope in.