David and Michael

  • Sept. 25, 2018
  • #9497

His name is David and he may be the coolest 17-year-old I've ever met.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and you would say the same if you met him. David is tall and blonde, with clear blue eyes and has the biggest smile ever. More than that, this kid reaches out to everybody, including the young people who nobody else seems to care about. And that’s what distinguishes this young man. I met David when he volunteered this past summer; not at just one Joni and Friends' Family Retreat for people with disabilities but two right in a row.

David was assigned at the first retreat to help Michael, a tall, muscular kid with severe cerebral palsy. Michael walks stiffly with a zigzag in his gait, plus he has a hard time speaking; so Michael uses a little sign language to clarify what he’s trying to say. Everywhere Michael went around camp, David was right beside him. Paired together, they looked a little odd, like the two would never naturally be friends. But David didn’t think so. You could tell he loved Michael. During Talent Night, the two of them dressed up as clowns and sang at the top of their lungs: "I'm not cool but that's okay, Jesus loves me anyway!" They were having a blast up there. David was simply doing what a volunteer should do, and doing it with zeal and passion.

Titus 2:14 describes that passion. Listen to this, it says: "Jesus redeemed us to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Don’t you love that? Jesus did not save us to merely "do" good works; but to be zealous about doing them. He wants us to show passion when we serve, and to "have a blast" helping others. When it comes to doing good works, God has saved some to open medical clinics, or run shelters for homeless people, or work in Africa, or teach in seminaries, write books, and speak from platforms. All these things constitute "good works." But for most people, God has saved the rest of us to wipe the nose, prepare the dinner, run an errand for a sick neighbor, clean the toilet, rake the leaves, drive a relative to a hospital, babysit for a neighbor, hold the Bible for, or even play chess with a lonely friend. God is looking for people who will even make plans to volunteer next summer [how about it?] at one of our Joni and Friends Family Retreats. And if you want to learn more about our retreats for special needs families, then visit our Joni and Friends YouTube channel and just watch a couple of videos of what it’s like to serve kids with disabilities; kids like Michael at our retreats. Or you can go directly to joniandfriends.org and click on our Family Retreat tab – there are plenty of photos and fun videos to show you what it’s like.

The important thing is that I want to get across, be zealous about doing good works. Come on, friend; show a little passion about rolling up your sleeves on behalf of another person like Michael. Start today. Look around your church or neighborhood. Jesus saved you [got that?] he rescued you to be excited about helping others. Just ask David, the very cool 17-year-old who is only cool because he so reflects the joy of Christ.

And friend, whatever sort of good works you are doing today, don’t perform them as a duty. God never intended that service be drudgery. Service in the kingdom should not be a grinding chore. According to Titus Chapter 2, your Savior wants us to be eager about serving others. And if you are eager to help in our Family Retreats next summer, like I said, take a look at those videos by checking out our YouTube channel. And then, go to joniandfriends.org and sign up and serve with us in 2019!

© Joni and Friends



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