We’re entering the season of graduations. Whether kindergartener or high schooler, undergrad or graduate, each student has grown and changed.

But how have they been shaped?

Maybe by their parent’s expectations and experiences with friends, teammates, and coworkers; maybe by the consequences of their own choices. A teacher, coach, boyfriend or girlfriend may have played a role in how they’ve been shaped.

These graduates aren’t the same as when they started. They’ve grown, shifted, changed.

They’re bigger, brighter, stronger; delicate, fearful, hopeful.

So how have they been shaped? The prophet Isaiah said, “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

Job during his suffering said to God, “You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.” (Job 10:12)

Those graduating have had many forces shaping their lives, some good and others bad, but they will continue to be shaped. It is our responsibility to point them to the life-shaping power of the Gospel of Jesus, which grants life and love.

Encourage them as they begin their next stage of life and point them towards the hope found in Jesus, and inspire them to shape others.