"Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, "Talitha kum!" (which translated means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!". Matt. 5:41.
"Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. "Young man," he said, "I say to you rise" Luke 7:14
"Jesus Loves Me" Whitney Houston
It is not surprising that two of the three miracles Jesus performs raising someone from the dead involves young persons. It's not easy being a young person.
We hear nothing about Jesus' adolescence and young life although for sure it was a fundamental time to creating the teacher, leader and healer we read of in the gospels. So we must trust that this time is critical in the development of our young people. This is why churches pray and seek to minister to youth and young adults, to give them a spiritual foundation for the rest of their lives.
Being a mom of two young persons, it was painful and heart-breaking at times watching them navigate those teen aged/young adult years. Girls are bombarded to look like the air-brushed photos in fashion magazines or ads. They are either too skinny (are you anorexic or something?) or a little chubby (what are you pregnant)? So body image disorders abound. Boys are under the same scrutiny too -- and between the extra-curriculars, grades, and other expectations, the pressures are enormous. And if you happen to have a special-needs child, the struggle becomes particularly poignant and difficult.
In the midst of the pandemic young people are directed to self-isolate which is the most unnatural for them. They are at the most social time of their life, forging connections with other people outside their families. They are studying remotely, compounding an already difficult passage. This fall some will be returning to school, some from home, creating a disruptive time, in an already disruptive age. They need our prayers more than ever!
Although my children are now young adults, I pray for them daily that God would lead them through their struggles, become real in their lives, would give them role models, and would keep them safe and guide them to make good decisions. They are making it. Maybe not how I thought they would, but they are finding their way, in a manner that's authentic and true to them. So we pray not just for our young people, but for ourselves -- to love them as God does, and accept them for who they are, for whom God made them to be. May God bless and keep our young people, help them make wise decisions and to grow in wisdom and stature, like Jesus did.
May God bring to life all that is dead or ill within their hearts -- and ours.
“Help us to create safe spaces for the young people among us. May they know they are loved by us and by you.”