My personal calling is to love students, share the gospel with them, and live life with them every day...and to enjoy the journey.

"We cared so much for you that we were pleased to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's OK

I say that to my kids all the time. I’m not sure why I do; it’s not something I usually think about before I say it. Maybe its just one of those ingrained sayings that parents just say, similar to things such as “be careful”, “do you understand me?”, and “we don’t wear orange.” Maybe it’s something you heard your parents say and swore you would never say when you were a parent, and then of course, you do. I’m not sure where it came from, why I say it, or really what it means, but all the time I tell my kids that it’s going to be ok. And you know the funny part about that-I’m not always convinced it is.

Last week, I was working in the yard with my son, Samuel. On some level, you really need to know Samuel, or have been around him, for this story to make sense. In a nutshell, he is an amazing child. He is very needing of routine, and he is most comfortable when things have a “way.” In other words, he prefers to do things the same way every time. Whether we are making a sandwich, watching the game, or mowing the grass, there is a right way, a right pattern, and a right order, and to do it any other way makes him uneasy. So as I said, we were working in the yard last week and had finished the front and side yards and had started on the back. (I say we because as I mow, Samuel pushes his little mower beside me the whole way, every step, every turn, precisely as I do it, he repeats it. I’m not kidding either…he mimics my exact movements) So, we started on the big hill under the tree in the back and there were some sticks and rocks that were getting caught in my mower and making raucous noises that were scaring Samuel. In fact, he took off running and went to a safer distance down the hill.

I turned off the mower and asked if he was ok and told him to come back and help me finish mowing. He declined. I started the mower and got back to work. I looked down at him and could tell he was having a struggle. He wanted so badly to be back up there with me, but he was battling fear. I looked down at him and over the sound of the mower I screamed, “It’s ok.” That’s it. That is all I said. And Samuel came back up the hill, “cranked” his mower exactly like I do, and began walking right beside me. I was stunned. What just happened? How did he go from fear to composure with “it’s ok?” The conditions hadn’t changed, still rocks, still sticks, still noise. Still risk, still unknown, but no fear, only trust. So what changed? The promise of a father to a child is powerful. In all honesty, I couldn’t guarantee that all would be ok. Samuel still could’ve been hurt and frightened by a stick or rock or anything. But he wasn’t. He trusted the promise of his father. In his mind, if my dad said it will be ok, then it will be ok. No questions, no hesitations. Wow! I think if I actually understood the depth and breadth of responsibility that brings me I would surely crumble under the pressure.

As a child of the Father, I want to have the kind of faith Samuel does. I want to trust the promises of the Father, even if in my eyes, the circumstances seem unsafe or risky. If you read through the Bible, there are countless ways that we, as children of God, are given promises. Remember Joshua 1. Joshua has just mourned the passing of his friend and mentor Moses. Now it is his appointed time by God to step in and lead the people. We can only assume how Joshua is feeling based on what God continues to remind Him. “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you. “Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance. Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. (Joshua 1:5-7) “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) Above all, be strong and courageous! (Joshua 1:18b) God was letting Joshua know that it was ok. Joshua was probably sad, he was probably confused, but most of all he was scared; and God knew that, and God told Him it would be ok. Like Samuel in the yard that day, Joshua had to put his trust in His Father. Despite the fears of the unknown and potential dangers, we have to trust and remain in the promises from our Father. Over and over again in the Scriptures we are promised by our Father that it will be ok. He will protect, He will provide, He will keep His promises. I want to have the faith and courage of Joshua, but even more than that, I want to have the faith and courage of Samuel. No matter what it is that we endure on our journey with Christ, it’s ok. He will be with us like He was with Joshua. We need not fear.

Really…it’s ok. I have never been more excited to mow the grass.

No comments: