Good Day to you, everyone.
Today I just wanted to point out something that really, really struck me yesterday that was forwarded to me, and then came up on social media.
|Click here to write a message of support to Tanner|
pray for this young man too–picture source
For those of you who don’t have a clue why this child is standing next to the flag pole at his school, it is because he is praying for his friends, his teachers, and his school for “See You At the Pole Day”, a tradition that has been going on annually for many years.
I don’t know Tanner. I have never met him,
never talked to him, never met his parents.
I have never had him in Â youth group, or sang with him in church.
But I can tell you one thing by seeing this picture.
I know Tanner’s heart.
And it is the heart of a warrior.
I want you to imagine what he went through yesterday morning, from the perspective of someone who was a youth leader for many many years, and spent time with groups of kids around the flag pole each year.
In a group, sometimes the kids were spit at.
Pop cans thrown at them.
And that is just the start of that.
But there is safety and support in a group, right?
Not for Tanner.
He stood, alone, and served God in front of his entire school.
He prayed earnestly for all the folks he knows and loves, all the people he runs into that perhaps make his life not so great, and for the Lord to be evident in his school.
There was a young man that comes to mind from ScriptureÂ
that reminds me of Tanner,Â
and his name was Daniel.
He was a pretty important guy, taken by force from his homeland and put into the service of a King because he was youthful, and handsome, and intelligent. He balanced, wholeheartedly, serving his God, and his King so well, that the other advisors to the King became insanely jealous of him and finally did the one thing that they knew would remove him, permanently, from his position by the side of the King.
Wheedling and flattering the egotistical King, they convinced him to sign a law that no one within his Kingdom could pray to anyone but the King for 30 days. If they chose to do anything else, their lives would be forfeit and they would be fed to the lions.
Sounds like a real happy choice, right?
Not a hard one to make, as most of the people had no allegiance to anything or anyone but the King anyhow.
Except for Daniel.
And what did he do?
Took the news in silence, went home, and knelt down to pray to the Lord he served in the same place he always did—in front of an open window.
Of course he was seen.
Of course he was dragged before the King.
(who by the way, was horrified about what was going to happen,Â
which makes me like him just a wee bit more)
And of course, he was thrown into the den of lions.
But see, Daniel served God, who is faithful even to the faithless.
And Daniel was certainly NOT faithless.
While the King agonized and paced, dealing with intense remorse and anger over the silly law that his vanity had put into place, the one that caused his devoted friend and a man he admired to be thrown to the lions, he prayed all night long for Daniel’s God to step in and save Daniel.
And most of you know the rest of the story.
Daniel was fine.
Not because the lions were not hungry that night.
Not because they were drugged, or sleepy, or simply did not know that Daniel was in their den.
After all, to the lions, this was an old, old story.
No, because an Angel came to Daniel in the darkest, scariest place imaginable, and shut the mouths of the lions. Talk about a firsthand boost of how awesome God is, and how strong faith can get you through the worst situations.
And now, back to Tanner.
I want you to pray for him.
In today’s current climate being a kid in a school who is the ONLY ONE who shows up to pray at the flag pole is going to put him
Â in a rather uncomfortable position.
Much like Daniel.
He is going to get a lot of attention both good and bad, as his picture goes viral and more people jump on the bandwagon of for or against this tradition, which, by the way, has become a pretty touchy point over the last few years in today’s political climate. (sadly)
He needs to be covered in prayer because he is only ten years old. Serving a God he loves in front of a heck of a lot of people who either don’t understand what he is doing, or are going to be shaken out of their indifference about it. The enemy loves to attempt to destroy passionate young hearts like Tanner’s, and that is why I want you to pray for him.
We need more kids like Tanner.
We need kids with brave hearts, and strong minds…kids who love the Lord and are trying to impact the world in a GOOD WAY in the midst of a dark time.
Pray for his parents.
They have been blessed with this child, and have carefully raised him.
They also will be under fire for the choices that they have made, and the direction that they have encouraged him. Pray for them.
They are doing an amazing job.
And you know what, there were a lot of Tanners out there. Singly, in pairs, or occasionally in small groups, but the faithful, loving, passionate kids gathered around their poles and prayed yesterday.
They ignored all the other kids who made fun of them,
or treated them badly afterwards.
They were encouraged by the kids who were not brave enough to join them but high-fived them in the hall later for making that choice.
And above all, they were encouraged by serving God to do something far outside of their comfort zone that caused no harm and did a whole lot of good.
Pray for them too.
|pray for this young man too–picture source|
I pray when my kids grow up, they too are Daniels, with a passion to serve God in spite of those around them who would seek to destroy their faith.
Blessings to you and yours,
Dear Tanner, as a former youth leader who has led See You At the Pole for many years, your devotion and passion to serve the Lord no matter what anyone thought or said really touched me! May God use you in a mighty way to reach the kids around you for Jesus. May you inspire other young men and women who are just a little too afraid right now to stand up and do what is needed, serving God in the hard places just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego…as well as Daniel. And more than that, may you be abundantly, overwhelmingly blessed and encouraged to stand for Jesus even when everyone else wants to shoot you down. To Tanner’s Mom: Mamma, great job. Keep praying for your son, because I think he has an amazing future ahead of him serving the Lord, and as this picture goes viral, the enemy will be seeking to attack him for his devotion.
Heather. Thank you so much for sharing this. It is sad that as a nation built upon God we are so ashamed to publicly proclaim Him. I thoroughly respect Tanner and his family, and all of the “Tanner’s” who went to the pole this week. I saw one of my young friends post on facebook – see you at the pole. I was very proud that this opportunity continues and that she was taking part.
Thanks for bringing this more into the public awareness.