Why won’t anyone sit in the back of the minivan?

The middle seat in our minivan is prime vehicular real estate.

My daughters make mad dashes to the minivan in order to hop in that prize seat first.  No one, after all, wants to sit in the back.

And, nothing gets these girls ready to rumble like one sister hogging middle seat privileges.  They have some sort of tracking sense, a radar for what’s “fair” or “unfair.”

Their memory tangles up with rhetoric.  I don’t think they really keep accurate records of seating assignments every time we drive in the minivan, but somehow they sound like they are testifying in a court of law:

“I have not gotten to ride in the middle seat for one whole week!  You have had 6 turns more than me and now you cannot sit in the middle seat again until I have gotten to sit there 6 times.”

There are tears and the occasional meltdown.  Sister pits herself against sister.  They take sides and form alliances to gang up on the offending sibling and rain down minivan justice.

Let’s be honest.  It’s a whole ugly mess sometimes.

And maybe the ugly comes out in us some days, too, as we fearfully try to scramble into the ‘best place’ or grab our own chance at God’s favor and blessing.

I’m not exactly sure how Abraham did it, but I want to learn from him how to stop fretting over my position and start rejoicing in my relationship with Christ.

He and his nephew Lot stood high enough to overlook the land.  Their employees had been fighting.  Abraham and Lot were both too wealthy to travel together any longer.  They needed separate space and well-defined territory.

So, there they stood, preparing to divvy it all up:  “This is mine.  That is yours.”

Abraham let Lot choose first.

Maybe I’d be a mess of worries and desperation in that moment, wanting to protect my blessing, hope, and future.  I’d probably be praying under my breath: “Please don’t choose the best spot.  Please don’t choose the best spot.”

Or, at the most, I’d offer to flip a coin to make the whole process more fair.

But Abraham trusted.

Abraham knew that nothing Lot did in that moment could hinder, interrupt or destroy God’s perfect plan for his life.

He didn’t have to push or shove his way to the front of any line.  He didn’t have to fight or rumble in order to stake out prime territory.  He didn’t grab for the ‘biggest slice of the pie’ or scramble ahead of everyone to try to ‘get the best seat.’

Maybe we’re worried about that sometimes.  We see the blessings of God as if there’s a limited supply.  If He blesses her, then that leaves less blessing for me.

Or maybe this world seems like such a noisy place and social media has only turned up the volume.  Sometimes it feels like we need to shout in order to be heard.

But I want to be Abraham.

I want to trust God enough not to fret or worry over territorial choices or the fear that someone will end up with a better plot of land or a greater blessing.

I want to be able to extend my hand and say, “You first…..”psalm 18

I want to stop pushing and striving to get ahead and simply trust God to take me where He wants me to go.

Lot chose the best looking land, of course.  He snatched up the prime real estate in a selfish effort to look out for himself.

He couldn’t see the corruption and enmity and culture of sin that ruled the land he was choosing: Sodom and Gomorrah.

Sometimes, the blessing we’re so sure we want is the worst possible future God could give us.  

He sees.  He knows.  He loves us.  Sometimes loving us means telling us “no” in the moment.

We can trust Him.

Instead, the Psalmist said,

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me (Psalm 18:19 NIV).

When we trust Him, He delights in us indeed.

When we choose humility over pride, He sees and takes joy.

He will bring us to that spacious place, and it will be perfect, just right, hand-picked and God-designed for you.

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 © 2015 Heather King





Weekend Walk, 06/02/2012

Hiding the Word:

It’s a season of celebration.

Our family is celebrating graduations and the end of the school year, ballet recitals, concerts, plays, birthdays, and the 50th wedding anniversary for my husbands’ parents.

So, on a bright and beautiful day like today, a morning of sunshine and cool breezes on the day after torrential downpour and tornadoes hit our area, it seems fitting to meditate on a Psalm of celebration.

Our verse for the week is:

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
    you cover him with favor as with a shield (Psalm 5:11-12 ESV).

Last night after my daughters’ ballet recital, families hovered under umbrellas and still arrived soaking wet to their cars.  One man stayed long after most others had left, offering to walk people to their vehicles if they didn’t have an umbrella, holding his over their heads so they could escape some of the drenching.  

I can imagine God covering us with “favor as with a shield” in a similar way.  How it’s all about his grace and kindness to us. How it’s self-sacrificing.  How it offers us more perfect protection than any umbrella off the shelves of Wal-Mart.

Now that’s something to celebrate!

Weekend Rerun:

My Two Cents

Originally posted on May 9, 2011


With beach season approaching, I’ve been thinking . . . I’d like thinner legs.
While I’m placing orders, I’d also love to have wavy hair with no streaks of gray in it.
No glasses would be nice, too.
Yes, then I’d look really great . . . not at all like me, but great.

Fortunately, I don’t really like the beach, so I don’t dwell on these issues for long.  It’s dangerous really to look around at other people and compare ourselves to them, not just physically, but spiritually, too.  While I’m baring the deepest, darkest parts of my soul with you, I might as well honestly admit that I struggle with this at times.

For me, the trap comes primarily when I’m reading.  As a lover of words, I tend to fill every available minute with reading of some kind, even if it’s just five minutes while standing in a line.  And as I read, there are moments when I think, “If I could just change myself in this way or that way, I’d be better able to serve God.”

I don’t have the impact of this woman, the poetic mastery of language like another, the scholarly education like her, the testimony of this woman or the vast Scripture memorization like another . . . When it comes to spiritual matters, I confess I sometimes want to swap out parts of me for what looks better, not really out of jealousy or pride, but just because I long to give to God the best offering possible.

For most of us, our deep down motives are pure and true.  Out of a desire to worship and give glory, though, sometimes we glance to our sides at the offerings of others and feel we fall short.

What about you?  Have you ever looked around and wished you prayed like her, knew exactly what God called you to do like him, knew Scripture as well as she did, or had the same spiritual gift as a friend?

The eye in the Body of Christ wants to be the foot or the hand wants to be the mouth.  Imagine the Body of Christ as a Mr. Potato Head—now how silly would we look?  Unfortunately, when we eyes spend all our time trying to be feet, the Body of Christ is blind and clumsy, tripping all over itself.

“But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body” (1 Corinthians 12:18-20). 

Your gifting, your passion, your past, your experiences are all uniquely packaged together by God to form you and mold you into the vessel of His choosing.

And all He asks is that we raise our hands to release what He has already given to us:
the fullness of the talents He has bestowed
and the passions He has stirred up deep in the fires of our hearts
the issues that make us raise our voices as we step onto soapboxes
the service that we wake in the morning excited to perform
the experiences from our past that soften our hearts and make us tender to those hurting in our midst.

Our arms heavy-laden with all that we have received from Him, we then lift it all back up in worship.

We’re the only ones at times looking around to compare the gift we bring to the presents of the other worshipers.  God isn’t sifting through the gift table, shaking packages and estimating value or peeking at the cards looking for the names of the gift-bearers.

It’s just us—watching the gift table and shifting our gaze with embarrassment when another attendee brings in a cumbersome package wrapped in paper all silver and topped with a ribbon so fancy.  Then another lays on the table a gift bag filled to overflowing, tissue paper barely covering the treasures inside and we want to take our gift back.  It’s not enough.  Not for a King so worthy.  Not for a God we adore.

The widow in the temple, though, knew that true worship simply meant giving all that she had, sacrificially placing her “two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents” as an offering to God (Mark 12:42).

Others had given more, even ostentatiously so.  “Many rich people had thrown in large amounts” (Mark 12:41).  She could have watched from the corners of the temple in shame at the earthly value of what others gave and walked away clutching her cent pieces, confident that God would despise a gift so meager.

And yet, she didn’t.   And nor did He.

She gave.  He noticed.

He called His disciples over to learn from her.  Men who would eventually be asked to give up everything—even their very lives—-learning how to give sacrificially from a pauper widow almost lost in a crowd of those richer and more important than her.  All because she “put in everything” when she gave to God.

What two cents are you laying at the altar?  Your spiritual gift, your ministry, your service to your church, your sacrifice for your family, your care for another, your laying aside of personal dreams, your causes, your secret encouragement for a friend.  It’s being a hand when He made you to be a hand and being an eye when He asked you to be the eye in a body of Christ that is so dependent on every organ.

Your two cents is a gift precious to God; He only asks us to give what we ourselves have been given.

As I finish up today, I’m listening to Paul Baloche sing Offering.  I hope you take a moment to worship with me.

by Paul Baloche

I bring an offering of worship to my King
No one on earth deserves the praises that I sing
Jesus may You receive the honor that You’re due
O Lord I bring an offering to You
I bring an offering to You


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com 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.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King