Charlene Stevens Jenkins
Moving On to Next
May is almost over and we’ve celebrated many special dates and events including the National Day of Prayer, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, National Mental Health Awareness, along with graduations and too many others to list. There were graduations from Pre-K, high school, college and other celebrations like promotions and retirement. I was comparing a graduation to a promotion and wondered what they have in common? One thing is that before going to the next grade, position or level, it requires passing tests, overcoming challenges, and demonstrating competency.
My youngest nieces and nephew attended Liberty County Schools. Eliesha was promoted to 5th grade, Elise to 7th and Eli Jr. to the 8th grade. The next sibling group, Jayden and Dominique, are moving into the 10th and 11th grades in Clarkesville TN. They all had to work through their own challenges and problems to pass their tests and exams. My family and I are so proud of them all! While reflecting on them and their accomplishments, I have to share another family that we’re also very proud of. My son’s uncle, who was like a Dad, passed away last fall, and we miss him. Even after facing that most difficult challenge of their lives, his family continued on, with the help of God and the support of loved ones. Aunt Evon received her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Differentiated Instruction. Rachel received her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Yale University. Sarah graduated from her home school program. If you’ve had a difficult year, I hope you can find hope and strength from the lives of someone I mentioned today or someone that you know personally. Our God is able to help you too.
The same way we all have to pass tests and overcome challenges before a graduation or retirement, spiritual elevation and promotion also come with challenges, hardships and tests. Very often naturally and spiritually, before our greatest victory, we will face our most difficult test. We can read about the lives of many in the Bible who faced their own challenges, some failed and some persevered. Either way, God was able to use their examples and situations for His glory. Our ultimate example is Jesus. On what we know as Palm Sunday, He was praised and worshiped in the streets (Luke 19:28-38). Just a few days later, He was in the Garden of Gethsemane praying and the sweat was like drops of blood (Luke 22:39-46). Later, those same people who praised Him said, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” (Luke 23:20-23). Aren’t you glad Jesus didn’t let the mocking and scourging stop Him from obeying the will of God? He knew what was up ahead. He knew that His temporary suffering was nothing compared to being able to give us eternal life. I mentioned in last month’s blog that His victory means victory for us! He won so we are already winners…no matter what we face. Don’t stop in the middle of your most difficult test or trial. Jesus prayed and made sure He maintained communication with the Father. Also, He relied on an inner circle for support. Let’s do the same and keep moving forward! There’s a prize, a reward waiting at the end of the journey. DM, email, call me. Let’s communicate. I’m here to encourage, inspire and motivate. I’m praying for you! www.charlenestevensjenkins.com