The first time you meet someone you generally get an impression of what sort of person they are. You could be basing that first impression on any number of things, material, physical, spiritual. On the other side of the coin, when someone meets you for the first time, what do you think they will remember most about you? Will it be your looks, your winning personality, your incredible wit, or your unwavering faith? This next story is about a young man I have watched grow from birth into a “man of faith”. In this day and age to walk with God is not the popular thing to do, especially in high school. It takes courage and a strong faith to not only take a stand, but to also choose to not follow the norm, to choose a path that is not cool.
Zion Barnes, the son of Jason and Katherine Barnes, is a regular 11th grader that attends Mena High School. He plays on the Bearcat football team as #1, goes to classes, eats junk food and has an obsession for gym time. What makes this ordinary young man extraordinary you may be wondering. The answer is found in Zion's day-to-day walk with God. Zion was asked to speak at this year’s “Fields of Faith.” Barnes shared, “I was really nervous, but felt like God was leading me to speak." He continued, "Once I got up there it went very smoothly. I shared my story and some difficulties that I has faced." Barnes connected with all ages as he talked about how both teenagers and adults face so many circumstances where it seems that they have no power over the situation at all. "Things happen and you feel like you are tied to a chair with nowhere to go. When we are in these situations it feels like we are suffocating and it can be so draining." Wisely Zion shared that, "We often take on battles as our own when in fact they are God’s. Any situation that you are faced with and you feel like there is no end in sight, you can go to God and He will supernaturally work out the situation for you. You just have to have faith and believe that He will.”
This is the message Barnes felt led to give. Sometimes in life we are met with insurmountable odds whether with classes in school, circumstances or even problems with friends or family. Whether the situation be big or small, just trust God to come through for you. When asked how important he felt “Fields of Faith” was, he replied “It is very important for kids to have something like this. God could use this experience to change lives, even if only one person's life is changed.”
A verse that Barnes said he felt has made the greatest impact upon his life is Numbers 23:19
“God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?"
The question I want to leave you with today is this: How brightly is your light shining in a world of darkness?