First Day

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. ~ Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)

For many students, here at Milo Adventist Academy at least, it is your first day at a new school. Or, perhaps it is your first day of a new year – for those who are returning. I can bet that each of you have some goals for this year. Perhaps it’s something simple like “get good grades.” Or, maybe it’s a huge goal like “change the world.” The idea is that we are all approaching today with some hope or dream of how it will go. For many, today is full of fear and anxiety.

            I remember my first day at a new school. I was in first grade at Fresno Adventist Academy. My family had just moved from Bakersfield, California, so I didn’t know anyone at my new school. They were all strangers to me. I was really shy back then (I know, it’s hard to believe. But, it’s true), so I was really worried that I wouldn’t make any friends. Of course, my teacher went out of her way to make me feel welcome. But what about the kids? Would they like me? Well, yes, but it took a little while. One by one, kids introduced themselves and invited me to play at recess. In fact, I’m still in contact with a lot of those same kids today!

            When it comes to life, we will be faced with uncomfortable situations. For many of us, we are the ones who are uncomfortable. So, cling to our verse today, “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.” God has already seen your path, and He is going to help you get through the ups and downs. It’s OK to admit you’re nervous or afraid, but admit it to God and ask for His help. He’s there with you, no matter what. And, most likely, he’ll send a person to help smooth things over.

            For those of us who aren’t facing life-altering fear or anxiety at the moment, let God use you to answer the prayers of those who are. Follow God’s lead. Look for the opportunity to make a new friend, give a warm greeting, and show some peeps that they belong.

            Here at Milo, we call ourselves “family,” and it’s something we don’t take lightly. So, if you’re here, or graduated, or are a parent of a student, or just are interested in us folk out here, you are family. May you experience the joy of belonging. May you experience the love of God that surrounds us every day. You belong here.

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