I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:9-10 NIV
As I begin to wrap up my time at the youth drug prevention coalition and step more deeply into Fusion's mission and ministry, I felt a sudden prompt to share this story with you today.
Last night at our Chapel Young Adult ministry, we shared stories of how Jesus has resurrected our lives and brought us from death to life. A college student from Loyola University in Chicago shared her powerful story of redemption:
With tears rolling down her face, she said, "I'm new at this Christian thing. I became a believer just two years ago when I was hung over and 'greened out' from the night before. I can't believe Jesus chose me even in that state. I didn't have to get my life together before coming to him. I just came to him and he flipped my life right side up and now I am alive in Christ."
Now in my mid-30s, I consider myself a "big sister" to the young adults and I admit I had to look up what "greening out" meant but I had a feeling it had something to do with marijuana. A quick Google search told me that "greening out" is a term used to describe a situation where a person feels sick after smoking marijuana. They go pale (turning "green" or "white") and start to sweat and feel dizzy and nauseous.
Research would say that nearly half of us reading this (46%) have a family member or close friend who is addicted to drugs or has been in the past. This has been a part of my experience as well and I understand firsthand the grief and devastation addiction can cause. I also celebrate the incredible power of God's redemption and resurrection power even in stories like this
Jesus chose you and he is continuing to choose you every day. Whatever state you're in. Wherever you are. Whatever you are doing or not doing. Whatever mistakes you have made or continue to make, Jesus chose humanity and he is choosing us every day. Jesus chose college students and he is choosing them every day. Today I am reminded that love is a choice and I am so grateful that the God who is love continues to choose us every day.
And not only does he choose us, but he pulls us up out of the muck and the mire, the pain and the suffering, the mistakes and the missteps. Redemption is for all of us and his name is Jesus.
I have this great expectancy that redemption is waiting for us. Redemption is waiting to heal broken minds, broken hearts and broken bodies. Redemption is waiting to fill souls with hope and strengthen what remains. I feel so strongly that the harvest is here and that God is especially about to sweep through college campuses in this hour.