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To Know Christ

 

Brenda Nail DeLauder Columnist

  When May and June roll around, our focus is often on graduations. For these young people, it is the closing of one chapter and the opening of more to come. This year was high school graduation for three of our grandchildren, which I’m pretty sure happened when we blinked. There is relief the grade school years are finally over, and thrills, as well as a little fear for the next years ahead. During various celebrations it was fun to see them with friends they have traveled the school halls with over the years. Some will remain in touch for a long time, while others will move on in different directions, leaving only memories to hold. It’s all part of life’s journey.

  Each year I like to try and come up with some sound advice for new graduates. In reading a favorite devotional book this morning, I smiled when I read the best advice that could be given. It simply said, “to know Christ.”

  Children who are raised up in church, meaning they regularly attend the services as well as classes and activities, have more opportunities to expand their knowledge of God and His teachings from the Bible. If they did not take this route, the good news is, it can start at any age, and there is no time like the present! Churches provide us with the opportunity to grow in Christian knowledge. There is much we can learn, and while studying the scriptures, we draw ourselves closer to God.

  Yet being active in church is not enough. Truly “knowing Christ” comes from constant communication with Him. The more we include Him in our lives, the better we become. Whether we are talking out a problem, praying for others, praising God, or seeking direction, we are blessed by His presence. It is good to worship and pray with others, but Jesus teaches us to also spend time alone with Him. My mornings start off with praying alone, so I can concentrate on each request I’m lifting up. Where I feel a closer connection to Christ is during my morning walks, quiet moments on my porch, or working in the garden. Pulling weeds is a mindless job, which allows me to focus on what I need to talk over with Jesus. My hands are busy but my soul is still, so I can hear Him. My favorite conversations with Him hold no frilly language or particular words, just plain-speaking from the heart.

  I read something the other day which I loved. It said to thank God at the end of our prayers for already answering them. God’s answers are not always what we expect or want and seldom happen in the time frame we think it will occur. Yet His answers are perfect and amaze us. It gave me a lift to think about how He knows before we ask and has already answered! It is God’s gentle way of saying “I’m here.”

  Congratulations to all the graduates of grade schools and colleges for conquering your challenges. Godspeed to a new chapter in your life and may you continue to grow in mind and spirit, always including Christ in all you do. The time spent getting to know Jesus is so worth it. The walk you take with Him will be an amazing journey. There will be highs and lows, but never give up on God, because He surely has not forgotten you and will not leave you. Sometimes the road will be rough, but those are the times you will gain strength to allow you to soar like eagles. Always include Jesus!

  A special congratulation to Aiden, Scott and Morgan! 

 

  Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.

 

 

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