Written in Chalk - Madi Prentice

A month ago, I was sitting in a room full of over 200 middle schoolers at Black Lake in awe of the simplicity of what Erin Johnson, our speaker, was sharing. Throughout the week she continued to return to two simple sentences: God is with you and God is for you. That week those phrases were written in chalk on the sidewalk, made into watercolors, and written in notebooks all around Black Lake. Since then I’ve found them coming to mind in my own quiet time as well.

God is with me. God is for me.

Something I love about working with middle schoolers is how big topics can become so simple. As someone who has followed Jesus for most of my life and has spent a lot of time in scripture, it can be so easy to focus on the nitty gritty details. I love those moments when God uses simple truths to reveal something deeper in a new way and not just to our students.

Meditating on these simple truths brought me back to a chapter of scripture that I was tasked with memorizing a handful of years ago in college. Our professor wanted us to slow down in the midst of discussions of theology to just sit with scripture and hide it in our hearts. I am so grateful for that as I return to it often, turning it over in my head or writing it out to see it from a new perspective.

Psalm 139:1-4; 7-10
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

This reminder that God is with us wherever we go, in whatever anxieties and busyness we are walking though, and in any decisions we are making, has been such an encouragement to me.

I’d like to encourage you to reflect on the two simple phrases: God is with you and God is for you. What do these truths look like in your own life?

As an added encouragement for us all: I'd like to challenge you to memorize a new piece of scripture to be able to hold on to and return to. I’m going to memorize Romans 12. But pick something you know your heart needs reminding of. Psalm 139 or James 1, are a great place to start. Or start with just 2-3 verses! There's no right or wrong way to memorize God's word.

Madi Prentice

Student Ministries Intern | Hope City Church