VBS for grown-ups: Even when you don’t understand….

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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I’d been a mom for just under two years when I got pooped on for the first time.

It turns out new babies can’t quite tell when the diaper is on and when Momma has removed it for bath time.

You just never expect this. You go to college, study hard, earn a degree.  Go back to school and earn a Master’s degree.  Have your dream job.1john4-19, photo by Cora Miller

Then two years later you’re cleaning yourself up after being mistaken for a diaper.

Every mom has Kodak moments of familial perfection.  For a few minutes, it’s domestic tranquility.

Kids are healthy.
They used their manners at the dinner table.
The homework is done.
The laundry is put away.
You cooked a delicious and healthy dinner in your Crock Pot and baked homemade bread.

You are, in fact, Super Mom, the ultimate domestic diva.  You are June Cleaver, Betty Crocker, and maybe even Mr. Clean in one grand super hero package.

Until noses start running and children start fighting when you have a headache.  A stomach virus shoots through your family.  You realize that “dressing up” now means wearing the jeans without the worn knees and Sharpie stains from your child’s experiments with permanent marker.

Does Super Mom lose her cape now?

But right then when you’re the diaper,  when you’re worn down and weary, when you’ve cleaned toilets and scrubbed floors and you feel broken and overlooked.

Maybe you pray it: “Can you help a girl out, God?  It’s pretty hard to feel like this job has any eternal significance.  Do you even know what it’s like to put other people first all the time?”

But oh, may we pause there and remember who we’re talking to.

Oh, sure, Jesus was the Savior of mankind.  He had the power of divinity at His fingertips.  He could multiply the bread instead of having to knead it by hand.  He could command the fish into the nets instead of pushing a cart around Wal-Mart with a shopping list, a budget, coupons, and a toddler.

And yet.

When we over-romanticize the life of our Savior, we forget the utter humility and selflessness of Jesus, who emptied Himself for us and sympathizes with us on our hardest days.

Christ bends Himself low to wash our feet and heal our hurts.

And maybe it doesn’t make sense.

Like Peter, I’m tempted at times to refuse the humility of Christ as He stoops to wash my feet.  How shocking to see the Messiah on His knees.

Foolish Peter—he didn’t know how much He needed a Savior who served, so he told Jesus at the Last Supper, “No…you shall never wash my feet” (John 13:8 NIV).  Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

Even when he didn’t understand Jesus’ purpose or plan, Peter submitted.  He stopped protesting and willingly accepted the gift:  “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” (John 13:9).

Maybe Peter didn’t get it, but Jesus knew these disciples needed to see humble ministry face-to-face so He could tell them this:

I’ve set the example.  Go and do the same.

As I’ve washed your feet, wash one another.

I’m still needing this lesson now, on days when I’m the diaper, when I’m worn or weary, when it seems like I’m making no difference, that Jesus made Himself low….for the disciples….for me.

Sometimes grace does the unexpected.  Sometimes God shatters the confines of the cardboard box we’ve put Him in and we just can’t understand: “Why, God?  Why this?  Why not that?”

It doesn’t make sense.

Not to Peter.

Not to us.

Yet, here is what we know:

Even when you don’t understand….Jesus loves you.

And He has a plan and a purpose for this and for you, so we bring it all to Him as an offering:

Lord, I don’t get it, but I know You love me.

Lord, it seems all wrong to me, but I know You love me.

Lord, this ministry You’ve called me to doesn’t seem to have any eternal impact, but I know You love me.

Lord, I don’t see how this can possibly be used for good or how this can be Your best plan, but I know You love me.

Like Peter we submit and we trust.  We quiet our quaking hearts and choose to rest in His love.

Originally posted March 16, 2013 

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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