VBS for Grown-Ups: Even When You’re Left Out….

Vacation Bible School.  That’s just for kids, right?  Silly songs.  Silly skits.  Silly costumes.  Kids stuff.  Sure.

But is there any message in Scripture that God delivers just for people 12 and under? We older and ‘wiser’ ones sometimes make faith so complicated when the simple beauty of truth is what we really need.

This week, I’ll be singing songs and doing those silly skits from Group Publishing’s Weird Animals VBS at my own church.

Here on the blog, I’ll be sharing with you those same stories, the same lessons, the same truth, but for grown-ups.

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 Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high,
  who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
  he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people (Psalm 113:5-8).

“Mom, can you tie my shoe?”

I kneel down, slightly off balance, and whip the laces into loops and knots.

“Mom, can you wash my hair?”

Bending over a daughter with her eyes pinched tightly shut, I scrub with shampoo and rinse away suds.

“Mom, can you show me how to play this on the piano?”

I stoop to press the keys, one hand pointing to the music, the other playing notes.

“Mom, can you hold my hand?”

Tilted to one side, I lean over to entwine our fingers and we swing our arms together.

“Mom, I’m hurt!”

Dropping to the ground, I clean the wound and press on the miraculously comforting Princess Band-Aid.

Life with children is a life bent low.  It’s the ministry of kneeling down, stooping over, leaning, and bending to wipe, scrub, heal, hold, read, listen–to love.  So often, it’s the movement down to hug a child and lift her up.

God bends low to reach His children, too.

He could have sat, poised on His righteous throne, holy and unresponsive to our need.

But He didn’t. Jesus Christ, our Savior, our Sacrifice, is the great Love of God bending low so He could raise us up.

And He continued that ministry.  Finding Peter’s mother-in-law sick in bed with a fever, Jesus “bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her” (Luke 4:39).

Petitioned by a leper for healing, Jesus “reached out his hand and touched the man” (Luke 5:13).

Confronted by an angry mob gathering stones to throw at the adulterous woman, Jesus “stooped down and wrote on the ground” (John 8:8).

He could have stood at a distance.  He had the power to heal with words alone, and sometimes He did.

These ten lepers, society’s outcasts, living away for so long from family, friends, faith, they didn’t even know they could come to Jesus.  They knew the rules.  Stay away from others.  So, “they stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!'” (Luke 17:12 NIV).

And He healed them with a word, just simple instructions.

But other times He chose to make it physical, and it so often required Him to bend low, to stoop, to reach out.matthew28-20

Jesus didn’t mind the mess.  He touched the “unclean,” when it was against the rules for them to have contact with other humans for fear they’d stain the holiness of others.

Jesus got down in the dirt with people.  And not just the high and mighty, the lofty, the righteous, the elite.

With the shunned, ignored, rejected.  With the outcasts.  With the unclean and the sin-stained.

With them.

With us.

Even now, He promises, “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NIV).

If you feel left out…rejected…outside….outcast…shunned….dirty….not good enough, never good enough, never gonna be good enough…..

Drink in this truth:

Even when you’re left out, Jesus loves you.

God is not waiting for us to get cleaned up, to overcome, to fix it all up, to force holiness either.   He isn’t put off by our faces smudged with dirt, our hands caked with mud, our fingernails lined with soil from trying to claw our way out of the pit we’re in.

Instead, David tells us:

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand (Psalm 40:2).

You cannot be so deep in the darkness to be beyond His reach. You cannot be so covered in dirt that He’s scared away or disgusted.

God puts on His muddy boots, wades in and rescues us so that we can be with Him.

As Lysa TerKeurst writes:

We may be overlooked by others, but we are handpicked by God.

 

Originally posted May 11, 2012

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King

 

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