A devotional pamphlet I was reading carried a brief story about a young man named Darrell Blizzard who had grown up in an orphanage. He was attending Penn State for his first semester of college. The year was 1942 and World War II was in full swing. All those who were recently out of high school and beginning college were keeping an eye on the war, especially on the draft. If they were drafted they would automatically go into the Army, and probably to combat positions on the front line.
Darrell had always been interested in flying, and attempted to enlist in the Army Air Corps. Following several setbacks to get into training schools, he finally found himself a member of Air Corps, inducted in Pennsylvania, but attending Basic Training in Florida. It was in North Carolina where he actually started some training in a Piper Cub, which was just a frame of an airplane, with canvas covered body and wings.
His desire to become a bomber pilot sent him to training in Marfa, Texas and Hobbs, New Mexico, facilities which are no longer operating. While reflecting on the long hours of training and schooling, Darrell was quoted by a reporter that the largest thing he had driven was a four-mule plow team, and now he was flying a four engine B-17 bomber. He was also quoted as saying, "We were all just a bunch of kids in combat regions, flying missions which could have tremendous impact on the outcome of the war."
I failed to mention when our story started, Darrell Blizzard was 17 years old. After all his training and schooling, he was 19 and about to turn 20, and carrying a huge responsibility in his task as a bomber pilot. He later became an airline pilot so we can understand how flying was his passion.
Would we question someone that young and inexperienced to have such a responsibility? Even in the church when a task is assigned to someone in their youth, we are reluctant and often uncomfortable giving responsibility to some because of their age. We want them to have experience.....successful experience before we trust them with important duties.
That devotional magazine I was reading mentioned several examples from the Bible which might make us think otherwise. 1 Samuel 2:18 says, "Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child." And remember the story of David when he was told on several occasions that he was too young to be a soldier and fight against the Philistines. He was told he was not able to fight Goliath, because he was still a youth. Another example is Mary. All indications have us thinking she was a very young woman when the announcement was made to her that she would give birth to the Son of God. Then one more is the attitude of Paul as he told his young ministry student, Timothy, "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to all believers."
God places great value on every child of His, regardless of age, when they place their trust in Him. My challenge to you today is to spend some time praying for those who are young in their Christian walk, and then on Sunday at church, give them some words of encouragement and let them know how much you appreciate their example.