Today I am excited to welcome author Janet Holm McHenry as she shares a devotional with us.
Just a few years ago I was balancing plates. As the senior advisor at my small high school, I organized all the spring events for the senior class: fundraiser dinner/talent show/auction, senior project presentations, senior awards banquet, baccalaureate, senior trip, and commencement. I also was meeting with them continually about finalizing their college plans and coordinating all the scholarship postings and deadlines.
Naturally then, as I hear that most schools across the country will not hold class for the rest of the year because of stay-at-home mandates due to the Coronavirus, I have a heaviness weighing on my chest. While I well know the senior mantra—“I can’t wait to get out of here!”—I also know that those spring events create strong memories that stay with them a long time. To have those ripped away is heartbreaking.
We can help them through this, because we know life often pulls punches when we least expect them. Job loss. Car accident. A child’s handicap. However, it is those times when faith can matter the most—not just for us but for others to observe as well. We cannot just then have faith: we can exercise it.
When the trials of life whack what us, we who have a personal relationship with Christ can find comfort from his Word and through prayer. Paul teaches that Christ’s comfort can actually overflow to others during hard times. He writes, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV). Instead of letting that overflowing comfort fall to the ground as an overfilled glass would, we can redirect that life-giving water to others to help them through their struggles.
This historic period in which we are living is bringing to life new ways to show God’s love to others. Because my heart hurts for high school seniors, I’ve created an online support group that is providing support, encouragement, helpful information, and a forum for brainstorming to parents of the Class of 2020. I’m already seeing creative ways to conduct prom and commencement. And I believe that as these young people see their Senior Year Plan A crumble, they will find that Plan B will be the most memorable one experienced in history. It is also my prayer that they will also discover the love of God because of it.
Janet Holm McHenry is an award-winning speaker and the author of 24 books—including the bestselling 50 Life Lessons for Grads. She and her rancher husband Craig live in the Sierra Valley, where they raised their four kids, who all suffered from having their mother as their English teacher. Janet stays in touch with teens as a board member for The Sierra Schools Foundation and as her former school’s official basketball scorekeeper.