So about that VBS… The strange thing was that we were there to teach the children, but – in the end – I learned a few lessons myself. Apart from changing my perspective in my dependence upon my Savior, I also learned that climbing “mountains” is in fact a spectator sport.
You see, as the children observed the attitudes of each of the workers, it showed them just how much we valued the things we were teaching them. When we climbed that “mountain” of work with a good attitude, the kids realized that we weren’t putting in all that work to teach them something we didn’t believe ourselves. As they saw that we truly believed what we were teaching, it influenced the way that they heard our message.
I Now Rejoice In My Suffering –
Of course, it may be a bit of a stretch to compare the preparation of our VBS to suffering (especially such suffering as many Christians have endured), but I will assure you that the preparation wasn’t easy. In our own strength, this VBS had the potential to be a complete disaster, but when we stepped forward with God’s glory in mind – rather than our own – we were able to move past the complications (which weren’t lacking) and focus on a central goal.
And you see, when we begin working in the Lord’s strength and for His glory, the tasks ahead no longer seem so difficult. Where before we would have paused and groaned, we now stepped forward with joy and diligence.
That All May See –
When others observe that joy and diligence, it can impact them far deeper than all the words you could ever say. Why? Because they know that it’s easy enough to tell a little half truth or even a full out lie, but if you truly believe what you’re teaching, it will impact the way that you live from day to day.
Does your salvation do that? Does it change your perspective on the usual “mountains” of life and give you joy in your suffering? Or are you sitting at home, wondering what happened to your “best life now”? The Lord never promised us easy; He promised us strength to do His work – His strength, so that we cannot boast in our own.
You see, with the proper perspective of who God is and what He has done, we can move forward in all suffering (VBS included) with joy and diligence. Not due to our own ability, but because the Lord is working in and through us so that all may see His workmanship and glorify His name.
This is our testimony to the unsaved world. People watch as you clamber up that mountain. Will your attitude make a difference in what they see?
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:10-11