Shelby is My Jesus

driverteam1BY:  JOHN DRIVER



Jeremiah 1:9 (NLT)- “Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, ‘Look, I have put my words in your mouth!’”

PERSONAL REFLECTIONAn almost decade-long adventure in the throws of youth ministry recently morphed into another adventure altogether. I moved from one thing I knew very little about into something else I really know nothing about: Young Adult Ministry. The transition has been so much fun for so many reasons.

In midst of the madness, I have also had the honor of watching our new youth pastor come into his own. He is simply masterful. My joy is doubled because we are incredibly good friends. And if it is even possible, my joy is tripled because his daughter, Shelby, has become best friends with my daughter, Sadie. Ergo the foreshadowed stage awaits this story.

I was outside praying by myself on our deck the other day. At age five, inquisitiveness is Sadie’s spiritual gift and unlike so many of us “grown-ups,” she exercises it daily with the unbridled enthusiasm of a Life Assembly Royal Ranger at a watermelon-eating contest. Sadie asked why I was talking to Jesus out there by myself. Laura replied, “Because Jesus is Daddy’s best friend and He cares about whatever is going on in our lives. We should talk to Jesus about everything!”

Without missing a beat, Sadie confidently piped in her own delightfully-flavored reality. “Yeah, Shelby is my Jesus.” 

PERSONAL APPLICATIONI could go so many places, but these devotionals are supposed to be short. So in closing…

Well, I guess I have to actually say something here. We all need Jesus—that is an obvious takeaway. I think the less-than-obvious truth is that you very well may be somebody’s Jesus when they cannot hear His voice for themselves. This is not heresy; this is heavenly. I wish more qualification was not necessary, but I do not want to be burned at any theological stakes for my lack of context. So…

No, we cannot speak our own feelings of truth outside of biblical truth, even when they are encouraging, and call it Jesus’ truth. This is not the Andy Griffith Show and lying to Opie just to make him feel better is not an expression of God’s truth.

No, we do not answer prayers directly, even though we may be used by God to be that answer. The answer still comes from God.

No, our truth is not necessarily the truth.

But as Pastor Andrew has been speaking on lately, all truth is indeed God’s truth. Thus we have the opportunity to relay with our lives, our compassion, our listening skills, and yes, even our willingness to speak truth in love—the very truth of Jesus. We are like Tupperware containers filled with priceless treasure. What we contain is more important than our containers.

There will be many moments when someone is looking for Jesus, but they will find you instead. Fret not—this is by God’s design! If you have been with Jesus, then you can be Jesus in “Shelby” form until through authentic relationship they are able to extract the Jesus in you and see His love implanted into their own lives for themselves.

So I hope someone will someday say of me, “Yeah, Shelby is my Jesus.” Well, you get the point.

PRAYER: Father, I am completely lost without You. I want to be Jesus to those who are looking for You. Would You put Your words into my mouth and remove from my heart all that does not resemble You?


When I am not working as the Young Adults Pastor at Life Assembly, I am a covert agent for the CIA. Past missions include extracting hostile, yet crucial young assets from the Chic-Fil-A playground before they were ready to leave. They really needed a bath before bed. I have also found myself many times vacuuming crumbs off my bed with a full-sized vacuum cleaner and wondering what planet I was on. I thought I saved the world once, but it was really just a turtle crossing the street. I like yelling at people when I drive; it gives me many chances to pray later. I like writing ridiculous bios about myself just to see who really reads far enough to find the ridiculous part. My wife has endured me for thirteen years and I reward her with my mediocre appearance and many distractions and projects. I cheer for the Vols when they are good and bad. They rarely cheer back. I like music. Oh yeah, and I write books.

1 Comment

  1. by Becky Duke

    On September 16, 2013

    Very entertaining bio Mr. Driver! And yes, I do read that far. I enjoyed your wittyness(if that is a word)

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