When God Prepares You, Even More than Your Students

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In this short series, we’ve asked some folks to tell us how a past talk from a Rooted Conference that has either changed their ministry, their life, or even just fed their weary soul. 

At the 2013 conference I remember taking notes, planning to use what I had heard as I continued to minister to students. Little did I know that the person God was preparing to walk through suffering was me. About a month after I flew back home from the Rooted Conference I lost my 23-year-old brother, Ben, in a tragic canoe accident.

I don’t remember when I connected the dots, but at some point in the grief process it hit me – “hope in the midst of suffering.” And so I took out my notes from the conference, and poured through them like an archaeologist digs for treasure.

In his talk, “What God Intends in Suffering,” Jared Wilson gave us four answers to the “Why?” question – a question that continued to ring in my ears.

  1. To remind us that the world is broken
  2. To remind us of our need for God
  3. To make the bliss of heaven that much sweeter
  4. To make us more like Christ

Jared said something that, strangely enough, provided me with hope…

“Sometimes when God closes a door it is not because He is opening a window. It is because He wants you inside when the building collapses.” 

I’m so grateful I took notes, because God knew it’s exactly what I would need. My world seemed so broken and unfair, and this drove me to my knees in dependence on God. I was reminded that God was making me more like Christ, through the tears and pain, and that while life is not fair God is sovereign and He can be trusted.

Join us for Rooted 2015, an intimate youth ministry conference, where we will explore how the good news of God coming to mankind in the person of Jesus Christ offers student ministers and teenagers, hope, healing and connectedness.  

Also to learn more about gospel centered youth ministry, check more articles from Rooted’s youth ministry blog. 

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