June 27, 2017
A SURPRISE AT GRADUATION
Psalm 32:8 (NLT)
8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
Deuteronomy 31:6-8 (NLT)
6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord, your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”7 Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them. You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land. 8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
This past Mother’s Day weekend my husband and several of our family members attended our daughter’s College Graduation Ceremony. As you can imagine there were so many other proud parents as well that had come to witness their children being acknowledged for their academic achievements. The air was filled with nothing but excitement as everyone sat with great anticipation of seeing their child walk in as part of this 2017 graduating class.
After listening to an absolutely fantastic speech by the keynote speaker for the event, the graduates began to line up to receive their hard-earned diplomas.
About midway through the process, a young man accepted his diploma and turned to the crowd and asked his girlfriend if she would come down to the stage. As she started to come down the steps, basically from the nose bleed section he dropped to one knee and asked her if she would marry him. Needless to say, it caught her off guard. The audience was loving every moment of this and was very eager to hear her response. The gentleman leaped from the stage and ran up the steps to meet her as she gave him a yes to his very public proposal. He immediately gave her a hug and a twirl around as he lifted her off her feet in excitement and then sealed the deal with a kiss. As several thousands of us witnessed their excitement and expression of love to one another it was obvious that they became the focus of attention for a split second or two. Needless to say, he got quite the applause as he ran back to the stage.
At this point, the master of ceremony didn’t know quite what to say. It was very obvious that this was not rehearsed, nor had it been discussed with those in charge of the ceremony.
Although some may have thought that the proposal for this occasion was inappropriate, it made an already joyous occasion even more joyful. We were sharing in the joy of a young man’s hopes and dreams becoming a reality, as he starts a new phase of his life. We see these kinds of things on TV all of the time, but to have seen it played out in real life was quite a wonderful experience.
As I sat there in my seat I wondered, what courage it took to propose in front of thousands of people. I feel sure that their relationship was at a place where he could safely assume the answer would be yes, however, because she was so surprised the answer possibly could have gone either direction.
The great news is that he had the courage to ask and he had the courage to ask in front of so many. I once heard someone say that “courage is not the absence of fear, but being courageous means that you face the fear and do it anyway”.
This gentleman ran the risk of being embarrassed and the risk of looking foolish. He risked being told no publicly. His love for this young lady and his desire to spend the rest of his life with her overruled any potential shame that he may have experienced.
Just as this young man had a dream to marry his girlfriend, you may have a dream seed planted deeply within you also. It may not be matrimonially related, but it is still something that will require faith as well as courage on your part to see it come to fruition, maybe even lots of hard work as well.
Do you have a dream that you have not pressed forward on because you didn’t want to look foolish? Have you wanted to spare yourself the embarrassment or humiliation of failing publicly?
My message to you today is to do just as the young man did at the graduation ceremony. Run the risk.
Many of us have unfulfilled dreams inside of us. Why not step out on faith and pursue your dream, knowing that God has placed that dream or desire in your heart for a purpose. No matter how foolish it looks to man, just trust God, because He and He alone knows what great things He can do through your yielded heart. He knows the plans that He has for you, so be brave and courageously move forward. You may just get a yes to all of your dreams come true.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Matthew 9:29 (NLT)
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.”