I had the opportunity to see my niece graduate from high school a couple of weeks ago. Naturally, it brought back a flood of memories from the time I graduated high school—twenty years ago. Wow. Twenty years. That’s hard to believe.
Some of those memories made me laugh, some not so much. I remember walking the line and thinking I should be happy to finish this race. I had earned my freedom, so to speak, but I was miserable. Like many graduating, I had no clue what the next day held for me. I hadn’t planned for higher education, and I knew I didn’t want to dig ditches with my dad forever, so, I had nothing to look forward to…right?
Fast forward a few years, I had started (and stopped) college a couple of times but it felt hopeless. I muddled through different jobs, became idle at times, and struggled internally with direction. Until direction came.
2 Thessalonians is a letter written by Paul addressing persecution, Jesus’ return, faith, hope, and being idle as a believer. Keeping those points in mind as we read, we are able to see that what we hope for lays the groundwork and lights the path for what we work for.
I had lived a large part of my life without reliance on the hope we have in Christ alone. I wasn’t working toward living a life that was pleasing to our Lord. Even though I was a believer, there was little faith, and little joy, but an abundance of idle time. But God is gracious. He picked me up and dusted me off. And I am living proof that God is faithful. I’m living proof that He is gracious and offers a joy and a hope that we can put our faith in. He’s worth living for. He is my direction.