It's a crazy world we live in, with Satan working hard to rob us of the saving grace that God made ours for the taking through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." ~ Romans 10:13
Salvation, eternal life, eternity in Heaven with Jesus Christ is available to every single one of us, if we just reach out and ask him to save us. It has been said there's a God-shaped hole in each of us, that can only be filled with him. But we, in our human rebellion against the Almighty, seek all sorts of other things to fill that hole.
Two of those things are alcohol and other mind altering drugs. A young person I've talked to a long time, trying to convince her to stop using drugs and alcohol, recently told me she did it because it is fun. What it is though, is actually an escape, an escape from the Hellish reality that resulted from her bad choices.
Since Amanda was killed, I've tried hard to reach as many kids as I can, to get them to recognize and avoid the dangers of substance abuse. Recently, I was really struggling because it seemed I just wasn't getting through to the kids I was talking to. I began to doubt if I'm in the right place, doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I wondered if I'd lost the ability to connect with kids, to reach them, to convince them.
Satan works that way though, working to convince you that the task God assigned you is impossible, or that you're not up to the task. And I'm convinced it's been the devil in recent months that caused me to wonder if there is even any point in trying to convince kids these days.
But God promises to be beside us, whenever we struggle.
"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13
And...just like He promised...God showed up for me when I was ready to throw in the towel.
On Friday, one of my students told me that he has never drank or taken drugs, but that he did go to parties...until he heard the story of Amanda's death. I tell that story to all my classes, at the beginning of every semester, hoping they'll hear it and understand just how dangerous this way too typical teen behavior is. He told me that he went to the parties...until he heard that story.
So, on Friday, when I had nearly reached the point of believing that nobody was listening, nobody was learning from Amanda's death anymore, God sent this kid to let me know that's not the case. Though many may not have ears to hear, at least one did.
And I've often said, that if even one hears and changes to avoid those dangers, that something good has come from the horrible tragedy of Amanda's death.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." ~ Romans 8:28
That's another of God's promises, that He can make something good come from anything, even the most evil of things we see on this earth.
So, thank you, God, for always fulfilling your promises! And thank you to those who hear Amanda's story, recognize the dangers, and turn from abusing alcohol and drugs, and especially to those who hear the warning and avoid putting themselves in dangerous situations where others are impaired by mind-altering substances.
If not for God's promises and those kids who do hear and learn, it would be nearly impossible to keep going.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." ~ Galatians 6:9