As a child, I remember summers were all about trying to sleep in, swimming everyday, going to the library, working on workbooks for the upcoming year and VBS.
Not everyone knows what VBS is. It’s vacation bible school and it’s usually put on by churches and it includes everything: games, bible stories, tons of crafts and the best snacks. I don’t remember our snacks being the most amazing, but when you’re running all over the place and singing and dancing your heart out, you take what you can get. When I went to VBS at Grace back in the day, we did it for 3 days. It was from 8:30-11:30am and was a jammed pack experience. You were sad when VBS was over. Mr. Matt and crew would work themselves to the bone to make it the coolest experience a kid could have. We got to watch movies in the big service room (the main auditorium… to a little kid, everything the adults do is referred to as a big room or big car or whatever). Mr. Matt Hall was one of the main reasons I was fascinated with ministry. He got it. I remember all the tricks and games he’d play on me and Jess, but I remember VBS and 3D camp very specifically. Mr. Matt will go down as my kids pastor who changed my life. And its those specific experiences I want to share with kids, teens, women and men wherever I go. This week, I got to do that and boy am I so glad I did.
I work at Foundations Church here in Tulsa and I have found where my heart fits. I love waking up everyday knowing I love my job. Sure, I have moments of stress and worry, but I absolutely love what I do and who I work with. When our Kids Pastor started planning VBS, I started praying about helping. I made the decision and asked Sammy if I could work with the first graders. I was in first grade when I really started to read my bible and get excited about Jesus and church, so for me, it only made sense to be a small group leader for the first graders. I’m so glad I did. Monday rolled around and I was SOOOOOO excited about VBS. I had spent a week going over the material for small groups and making sure that I was prepared for them and boy, was that a great call. I had a high strung, very expressive group of 1st and 2nd graders. Monday was jammed packed with fun from start to finish. Tuesday was probably my favorite day. It’s amazing what you learn from kids. The lesson was all about how God keeps his promises. If God says it, he’ll do it. As I was reading the lesson, and prepping the day before I was challenged. Yes, me, the adult leader of the group, the one that the kids are looking to to learn from!
Lately, my faith has met its match. I have mornings where it’s easy for me to wake up, get my coffee and listen to my worship music prepping for the day. But there are those days that creep up and you quickly feel defeated before it even begins. Faith is hard. Trusting God is hard! As I was reading over the kids lesson, I was astounded by how “child like” the wording was. It was all, “And because God said it would happen, it did!” and “Abraham heard God. He listened. He believed. The promise came to be.” I started to think about how I would explain this to the kids. The greatest way to do it, go with what I know. I showed the kids my prayer list. I shared with them that God’s word is true, and he always comes through, even when our list seems to grow, He knows and always comes through. I had 10 little people that looked at their books and then back at me and started asking if they could write down their lists. Their lists had everything from being nice to my sister, helping my mom with a happy heart, and praying for nice friends to heal my dog, help me with cheer camp and help me play football better. The best moment was when one of the kids came up to me later and said, “Miss Linds, will you add me to your list? I’ll put you on mine. I believe what God says and he’s going to answer all of your list so you can start a new one.”
I have to say, there’s a reason why Jesus said we should have faith like a child. Kids just take you at your word and they believe you. If you say you’re going to give them candy, then you better give them candy. If you say you’re going to take them shopping, then you better be ready to go shop! With God, you just have to tell them that Jesus is always with them and wants to be their friend and they believe it. The point… I should probably get my faith back to where it was when I was kid. If God speaks it, HE’S GOING TO DO IT. Not hard in theory, but in execution… Good Lord it’s tough.
This has been one crazy week, but one that I’ve loved. Especially because my kids thought whenever I said Abraham I was talking about Abraham Lincoln. Or in Antonio’s words “Haaaaaaaay-braham”. Or when I was talking about a time I broke the rules and I got a consequence (I threw a frisbee in the house and it broke my mom’s family portrait of us). The rule was “no frisbees in the house”. We go to Faith Skills and that’s the one rule one of my kids answers with INSTEAD of “don’t eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. Or when we were talking about how the Bible is the ultimate book made up of many different kinds and I raised my hand that I’ve read poetry, chapter books, history books, biographies, and fairytales, and Andre called me a nerd. Or when I forgot to give my kids their snack on Monday but then on Tuesday, they missed games but still got a snack. I should probably stop now, because my list goes on and on… Loved, loved, loved this week.
Ok. Sleep it is.
Here’s to childlike faith.. 🙂