By John Krueger
As a youngster, I grew up in a small village in Michigan called Pine Run. My family lived on the banks of Pine Run River. A hundred years earlier, lumberjacks felled pine trees and floated the logs down the Pine to the lumber mill. Although the lumber mill is long gone, the river still winds its way through the village on its way to the Clio River and then the Flint, eventually spilling into Lake Erie.
As a young lad, one of my favorite pastimes was to sit on the banks of the Pine with a cane pole and fish for whatever I could catch. While fishing I would meditate on life as I understood it at that young age. I pondered the meaning of the relationship between God and man. My grandmother had told me that God created man for a reason, but for her that reason was nebulous. Although she wasn’t able to pin down a definite reason, she knew there had to be one. I would often sit with her as she read passages out of the Bible, most of which I did not understand but my mind was pricked with the thought that a great God would actually have a purpose for ME!
As a teenager, my grandmother, dying from cancer, called me to her bedside and gave me her Bible. She asked me to read it every day and to pray that God would show me His purpose for my existence. I kept that Bible for many years until it became so worn that I had to set it aside and buy a new one.
Studying her Bible convinced me that God had indeed placed man on Earth for a reason. I continued to return to the Pine Run River’s banks to meditate on God’s creation. While there, I read this verse: “You, even you, are Lord alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and you preserve them all; and the host of heaven worships you” (Nehemiah 9:6).
Reading this verse, I began to understand that the wonderful beauty and magnificence around me was created by a great God. It was not sheer chance. What an eye opener that was for a young person. I had to meditate on that for a while before I could grasp its profound meaning.
I started to learn about God from His physical creation! (Romans 1:20). If God created the universe and all that is within, surely he had a purpose for man. I started to understand that He certainly had a purpose for me—even at my young age.
I found that purpose in Genesis 1:26-28: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
Romans 8:16-23 tell us that as joint heirs with Christ, the whole creation waits for us to deliver it out of the bonds of corruption. “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption [sonship], to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23).
There is so much to learn about God’s creation and purpose. If you, as a young person, can start to grasp the wonderful knowledge of your tremendous potential now, then you can build a solid spiritual foundation to help release the creation from Satan’s bondage.
Just as loggers hew the best pines to send down river to the saw mill where they are fashioned into straight, strong lengths of lumber to build a fine house, so too will God take His young people and set them down the course that will mold and shape them into princes and princess in His Kingdom.
Like the water flowing through Pine Run River, young people must learn to paddle their way through the small streams of God’s waters so they can negotiate the larger rivers that will carry them into the lakes and out into the ocean. Starting at a young age gives the solid footing of God’s truth that is needed when the flow gets rocky. Teenagers need to learn to steer the ship of faith to be granted safe passage to the wonderful world God has in store for all of us.
And then their destiny will be on another river: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 22:1-2).
We will ride that pure water of life out into the universe, healing and restoring as we travel the vast reaches of God’s creation.
What a wonderful and joyous future God has in place for His young people. Now is the time to take advantage of your youth.