Seasons change; God’s faithfulness endures
Editor’s Note: Recently, I ran across the first column I wrote upon arriving at the Southern Baptist Brotherhood Commission in 1989 after becoming editor of Baptist Young Men’s materials at the men and boys missions entity. During this season of thankfulness, I was reminded through this column written 28 years ago of how God works actively in my life – which I know is true for your life as well.
Challenges. We would live a boring existence without them. They excite us and give us renewed purpose. They many times direct us toward the unknown on an entirely new path.
As the new editor of Baptist Young Men, I face many challenges – both professionally and spiritually.
My professional career has been a journalist working for newspapers. It’s not that full-time Christian service had never entered my mind. It had many times. I have often prayed: “Dear Lord, show me your will for my life.”
That prayer sometimes came during uncertainty. Sometimes it was uttered merely out of habit. But all along I knew my career in journalism was simply not a coincidence.
I know there is a lot of work to be done. The Great Commission is as real today as the day our Lord spoke it. The task of teaching missions to young men and telling others of the activities involved in missions is awesome. Much too awesome for one man. But the Lord gives us the ability to accomplish anything if we just follow and trust Him to give us strength.
During Bible study this morning after accepting my new job at the Brotherhood, the Lord spoke to me as directly as I have experienced in my Christian life. The Scripture passage I read was Isaiah 41:13, “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, ‘Fear not; I will help thee.’”
Another verse was more direct as I contemplated the task before me. I found it in Joshua 1:9, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage: be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
Those Scripture passages calmed my heart as to how I would accomplish the task that I had accepted. The Lord told me it wasn’t going to be through my own strength. It would be only through and by Him.
Baptist Young Men is a tremendous challenge because ages 18 to 34 are years in which a young man makes decisions that impact the rest of his life and echo throughout eternity. A young man of 18 is far different from a young man in his 20s, and a young man in his 20s is far different from a young man in his 30s. These are years filled with the joy of marriage and of starting a family. It is a time when a young man enters the workforce and establishes himself in a lifetime career – a time of discovering the vast world we live in.
As a man at the center of this age group, I have experienced firsthand many of the challenges and influences heaped upon today’s young men. There are so many directions, yet unfortunately, so few roads leading to the place where Christ would have a young man to go.
Our challenge is directing that path. Through His strength – and only His strength – will we accomplish this task.
Tim Yarbrough is editor/executive director of the Arkansas Baptist News.