Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lessons learned from a child are sometimes the most difficult to come to terms with.

Summertime always brings lots of adventure.  This year one of my adventures has been Vacation Bible School.  My kids have been involved in many different VBS programs throughout the years, but this was going to be the first time that I would be involved as a member of the staff.  I volunteered hoping I would get kitchen duty or even the job of cleaning the bathrooms.  No such luck.

 I was chosen to help with the Bible class.  

I must say I was NOT overly excited.  For weeks prior we would have our planning meetings, and I would often wonder what I was thinking.  You see I do not do well with the unknown, and I am a bit obsessive compulsive.  I like things just so, and I experience a lot of anxiety when there is disorder.   As you know anytime you are dealing with kids there is always disorder of some kind.  So you can see why this had the potential for disaster.  Our director laughed when I expressed my concerns, and said “Maybe God is going to teach you something.  Maybe he is trying to get you out of your comfort zone.”

  I prayed hard that God would fill me with the words I would need to reach these kids.
I prayed that God move mightily throughout the week.  I prayed that He would just get me excited and calm my fears.

Last week was our church’s Vacation Bible School, and I was coming off a really rough week.  Exhausted is an understatement.  So when you heap that on top of the anxiety I was already feeling that is a recipe for a really bad attitude.   Now I did my best to put on a happy face, and go through the motions of being excited to be there.  However, on the inside I was in a really foul mood, and I did NOT want to be there. 

As the week came to an end, I rejoiced, and never gave it a second thought.

Until Sunday night…….. When a father stood before the church to thank everyone that had been involved in VBS.  Then he asked his 6 yr old son to tell the church what had happened after Bible School.  This precious boy announced as proudly as he could that he had accepted Jesus into His heart as his personal savior.

I felt like I had been ran over by a truck.

 Tears streamed down my cheeks as I felt so happy for this child and his family.
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I begged God to forgive me for my horrible attitude about Bible School.
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I thanked God that my attitude did not cause a missed opportunity to guarantee this precious child an eternal future.
Tears streamed down my cheeks because I was so thankful that God is bigger than my negative attitude.
Tears streamed down my cheeks as I thanked God for this hard lesson.

As I thought back over the week I remembered something that I had noticed before, but never really paid attention to.  This sweet boy sat in my class every night, right in the front, as still as he could be, and he hung on every word that was said.  Each night he told me that my class was his favorite part of Bible School.

How could I have missed this?

Who am I to get so caught up in the ‘me me me’ that I missed the big picture.  

This is the prayer I wrote in my prayer journal that night after church.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come as humbly as I know how with a deep regret. I pray that you will forgive me for the negative feelings I have had about Bible School this past week.  I am sorry for not feeling the excitement of being allowed and able to share your word with those children.  I praise and thank you for the one’s that came to know you through VBS despite my attitude.  I pray that you will enable me to be more attentive to these opportunities in the future.  I thank you for this lesson.  I pray that I will never forget the smile on Carson’s face as he stood before the church tonight to proclaim his salvation at the tender age of 6.  Keep this fresh in my mind Lord, so that I never forget that my responsibility is obedience, and you will take care of the results.  Father, I pray that you will infuse me with a servant’s heart.
I love you, I praise you, and I thank you.  In Jesus’ precious and holy name I pray-Amen

Then I searched for God’s word that would cement this lesson in my heart.
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.  Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
                                                                               Matthew 18:2-7

The leading of children should be our priority.  This scripture provides direct evidence of this.  It also commands all believers to live a Godly life before children and to tell them about the Lord.

I have learned this lesson, and I pray that it is one that I will remember forever.  No matter what life throws at me I am to remain obedient to God.