Hannah’s eighth grade graduation was last night. I had never been to an eighth grade graduation before.
I wasn’t too surprised when the worship song to open the ceremony was Our God by Chris Tomlin. The woman who leads the young people in their chapel uses excellent judgment in her choice of music and lessons.
But I was surprised – and delighted – at what happened after that:
- The valedictorian concluded her speech with a reference to Jeremiah 29:11:
- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
- The father who was invited to speak (who told us he was not a pastor) did a really nice exposition on 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:
- So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
- When I say ‘nice’ I don’t mean it was pleasant; I mean he dug into it in really helpful ways. When I thanked him for it afterward, his first response was to honor God.
- The salutatorians closed the ceremony with prayer “because that’s what we do here.”
I was expecting a nice evening; what God provided was wonderful blessing and encouragement.
Paul, as usual, was not impressed by any of this.
Hannah, as usual, wasn’t the least bit upset or embarrassed by her brother.
Some of God’s most encouraging gifts come at the most unexpected times. It was a good day, indeed.