There they were. Their faces held mixed expressions of fear and excitement as they waited in line with bags filled to the brim with supplies that weighed more than them. They were aware that life as they knew it was about to change. They knew they would never return the same.
Were they soldiers ready to leave for the battlefield? Were they hikers ready to ascend a record-breaking summit?
No. They were Kindergarteners on their first day of school.
The image of these adorable kids waiting to enter their brand new school is unmistakable. They seemed ready, yet unprepared. Expectant, yet bewildered. Some ran circles around their parents with excitement while others clung to their parent’s leg for dear life. Regardless, it’s as if they all somehow knew they were growing up and transitioning to a new time in their lives they couldn’t quite grasp the magnitude of.
Just a few days ago, as I sent my youngest child off to the first day of Kindergarten, I had the opportunity to see this image first-hand. As I looked at some of the kids who were crying and genuinely afraid to leave their mothers’ arms, compassion welled up within me, and I wanted to somehow make it all go away. I saw the look on my own son’s face that clearly said, “Dad, I want to go back to the water park, the beach, anywhere but here.” The moment I discerned what his cute face was saying I wanted to swoop him up in my arms, take him to the beach, and tell him everything was ok. The Father’s Perspective within me however knew this experience was necessary and something that, though he feared, would be a vital part of the process to develop him into a strong man.
Without question God laid something upon my heart that deeply impacted me. There are many times in our lives we face challenges we wish would simply disappear. We hope to go to the "beach" rather than face the uncertainty of our future. It’s an amazing reality that while we’re praying for challenges to be removed, God is calling us to grab our backpacks and press through them.
When God called Abram out of the land of Ur He called him out of everything he knew (See Genesis 12:1-3). He called him out of his family, his culture, his comfort, his natural experience, and more. Why? Because God was calling Abram to leave his old life so he could embrace the new life to be lived out of God's covenant filled with unspeakable blessing! He was calling Abram to become Abraham. Abram means a “father” and Abraham means a father of many nations!
The key behind God’s plan was that Abraham wasn’t going to primarily grow, simply because he received revelation, he was going to grow because of the process he would go through moving him from his old life to his new life. He would learn about God through His Word, dreams, and life experiences. It wouldn’t be easy, but the process would cultivate him to become the father of faith that would be an example to us all! (see Genesis 15:1-6)
You see, the lesson is simple. If we’re going to grow into all that God has for us, we can’t cling to our old lives. We must embrace our new lives in Christ and grow in the process of following Jesus Christ.
Wherever you are and whatever you find yourself in, your heavenly Father desires your success. In no way does God take any pleasure in your pain or discomfort. From the Father’s perspective He’s not putting you through pain, but is rather leading you through a process to prepare you to fulfill your destiny. (See James 1:1-8)
So…when you find yourself on line with your backpack filled with revelation, knowledge, and the call of God to fulfill your destiny in Him, don’t cling to anything but Him.
Let Him take you into new classrooms filled with new teaching experiences and enjoy every minute of it! You’re on your way to graduating to new levels of His love, life, and glory!
Steve Hannett is the founding Pastor of Abundant Grace Christian Church and Jesus Reigns International located in NJ. He carries a powerful apostolic, teaching, and healing anointing with signs, wonders, and miracles. He serves as local faculty with the Antioch School of Leadership, and is an apostolic leader with Christ Covenant Coalition.