Missionary Update: Robert Knuth
Beyond Nihilism: A Hope That Transforms
3:54 pm. November 18th.
Me: "Shoot, I have to run--supposed to meet some dudes on State street here in 6 minutes."
Student: "No problem man--thanks for meeting with me today. Every time we hangout, I'm reminded that someone out there cares. It means a lot."
Me: "[Liam], would you believe me that you are so cared for that I have asked our entire regional body of churches to be praying that you would know the hope that is yours in Jesus Christ?"
*opens up email, slides phone over the counter in his direction*
Liam: "[weeping and wiping his face filled with tears], is this real?"
Me: "I've had churches all across northern Indiana and throughout Michigan praying for you since March. Every bit of the nihilism you feel right now is God answering the prayers of His people. Your nihilism is His mercy to you--that you would actually begin to see the world for what it is apart from the Gospel. That you would see there is no hope outside of Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross."
Liam's story is unique in the sense that I had visible evidence to show him of God answering my (YOUR) prayers for him.
However, Liam is one of many students this semester who have felt the acute pang of the nihilism that the gospel of secularism distills.
What reason do they have for getting out of bed? School? A degree? Then what? Expectations for a career? A marriage? Kids? What does all of it mean?
The reality is: these are normal questions any college student wrestles with in any season, whether on a conscious level or not.
The social distancing, virtual classes, and rampant loneliness have only intensified these questions. Students FEEL them in the pit of their soul. You could even go so far as to say that these questions have turned into deep longings.
Students long for their life to matter.
And what's especially humbling about that statement is the fact that this longing for meaning isn't confined to the college years.
You long for your life to matter as well. Especially now.
This is the opportunity the Church (and RUF as an arm of the Church) has in this season. We don't sit back and wait for someone to come running into our midst with an existential crisis, looking for answers.
Instead, God has called us to run, dare I say even sprint, toward people because the Bible presumes that all of us are dealing with the everyday existential crisis of: what is it all for?
We get the privilege (yes, you through your support and prayer!) of meeting students with the only hope that matters. The only hope that says your work matters, your relationships matter, and even your suffering matters because we serve a God who uses it all to make all things new.
It's not worship for worship's sake. It's worship to the glory of God and to the good of our souls. It's worship that transforms our inward being so that our everyday lives matter more than we ever thought or imagined.
"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." -2 Corinthians 3:18
Liam needs to hear this. And countless others. Thank you for your continued support and prayer.