When I pick up my cousin’s three-year-old for church, she jumps up and down!
She will ask her family if she is going to church and grins as she gets her coat on.
It has been a delight to take her with me. We talk about what we see along the way: broken cars (at the auto parts place), railroad tracks (which we squeal for), a fire station (I didn’t realize she knew what that was until she told me we were almost to it), and the list goes on. We try to say Bible verses or sing them.
Seeing her excited about church is very sweet.
In the last month one of the roads we go down was very swampy.
That’s what happens when you have a dirt road, a high water table, and rain.
Try explaining that to a three-year-old.
I told her we were going a different way. When I turned down the new road she started yelling, “I want to go to church! I want to go to church!” I explained we were still going to church but taking a different road.
She continued yelling, “I want to go to church!”
“There are two, three, and more ways to go to church,” I said.
It wasn’t until she saw the familiar landmarks that she realized I was still taking her to church and she calmed down.
We don’t like change do we? Maybe I don’t scream and yell, but I am just like this three-year-old. I long for the familiar route.
Two weeks ago I explained that we’d be turning left at the second light. For a solid mile, she yelled at me, “I want to go to church!” Then she calmed down. I guess she is learning to trust me.
The more I know God, the more I trust Him. He’s always faithful. I know I let people down and it hurts to know I fail someone. God is nothing like me. I’m a sinner. He is holy!
Today II Timothy reminded me,
“if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.” (II Timothy 2:13 ESV)
We’ve seen God’s goodness in our own lives. We’ve heard of his faithfulness in the lives of others. We’ve clung to the Scripture that tells us the impossible things God does.
Last week I made a personalized map for this three-year-old I love. The route to and from the church building are included. I also marked our favorite landmarks along the way and the location of some other important places (including her best friend’s house).
As we drove, I told her the same things I did the week before. When I explained we’d turn left at the second light, she was calm. Thankfully, she was calm the whole drive and tried to keep track of where we were along the way. No, she didn’t quite understand the map but having it helped her deal with the doubts.
My Father has given me a map as well. I may not understand why the path is different than I expected, but I trust Him. God’s the one who spoke and light was born. He is the one who breathed the breath of life into Adam. God is the one who shut the mouths of lions.
Psalm 27:14 ESV is comforting:
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
The drive with this sweet three-year-old teaches me a lot about myself and how I could choose to respond to life. Church is a joy! We can jump up and down in anticipation of that fellowship with friends, brothers, and sisters. Best of all, we are to look forward to time with the One it’s all about.
There’s comfort in using the map of God’s Word, and trusting the One who provided it.
I need to remember that Church is the people. We are the people, the sheep of God’s pasture if we’ve received Christ as Savior. Around this globe people are worshiping this same God, the One who gave His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
Isaiah 48:17 NIV
“This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
Thank You for being faithful, good, and holy. Please help me to trust You as I ought to. Help me overcome my unbelief. Thank you for the gift of your people and your Word. Please help me to navigate this life in a way that honors You and points others to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions to Ponder
What unexpected turns has your life taken lately?
How have you responded? Why?
What Scripture has brought you the most comfort through it all?