The alarm sounded. 6am.
I reached for the SNOOZE button, but since I’d been awake for 45 minutes, I dismissed the idea.
I shuffled into the bathroom and turned on the shower. “Why did you ever agree to do this?” I asked the woman in my bathroom mirror. “What were you thinking?” The woman looked as scared as I felt, and her silence told me she agreed 100%.
As happens whenever I face something I’m dreading, I was ready long before I needed to be. Normally, I would spend the extra time pacing, and fidgeting, all the while my stomach getting more and more tense. But I was determined not to go there this time.
I’d spent countless hours in prayer over this project, and as the weeks and months passed, I’d witnessed God’s faithful hand at every turn. I knew I needn’t fear, but like wrinkles around your eyes, there are some things that come no matter what you do to stop them.
I made myself a cup of tea and sat down on the sofa. From here I could watch the dawn creep across the entire landscape. It was soothing. “Today’s the day…ready or not.” I said aloud. “Day One of Vacation Bible School.”
As VBS Director, I felt responsible for nearly everything, but when I’d gone to bed the night before, I was confident I had it all covered. That is, until anxiety woke me with the realization that I’d forgotten one small matter – I had failed to prepare the opening devotion! What would I do? I really needed something good – this would set the stage for the whole week and I didn’t want to blow it.
“All I need to do is pray about it.” I reminded myself, “God will provide what I need – after all, no one wants to reach these kids more than He does.”
I felt better after giving my worries to the Lord. And as I looked out the window, it seemed I’d been given new eyes – my vision was sharper somehow and more keenly aware of every detail. Then I remembered that the theme for today’s lesson was “God Made the World”. I began to take notice.
The early morning had provided a rare rainfall. The gray, puffy clouds were still present, but gaps had formed, growing wider by the minute. Then the sun peeked through the clouds. Expectantly, my gaze fell to the west – sure enough, within minutes a full-arch rainbow had formed against the dark background of the western sky. It was breathtaking!
As I arrived at the front door of the church, I was greeted by another marvel. A flock of cliff swallows had decided the exterior walls of our church had a homey-look to them, and had been busy building nests. I stared, fascinated, as they diligently built first a foothold, and then a tiny ledge, and finally an igloo-like structure that would provide shelter for their young – all made with hundreds, maybe thousands of small mouthfuls of mud they’d retrieved from the river.
With amazement I looked back on my morning and saw how God had provided ample illustrations for our opening devotion. With 15 minutes left, I entered the sanctuary to gather my thoughts before the children arrived. I looked up the reading for the day in my Bible reading plan:
Psalm 19:1 (NIV) – The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
A chill ran down my spine. In these words, God was talking to ME. It was as if He’d orchestrated the rain, the rainbow, the beautiful sunrise, the fascinating birds, and even the publishing of this little Bible reading plan with me in mind! It was mind-blowing.
I bowed my head, thanking God for using me to reach the children of our community. And with only 10 minutes left, I opened my Bible to the second reading designated for the day. Nearly unable to believe it, I read Jesus’ words “Let the little children come to Me…” Mark 10:14 (NIV).
This was almost more than my small mind could bear - all this time I thought I was in charge of VBS, but it wasn’t me at all. God was running things. All I provided was willing hands.
I looked up from my Bible with watery eyes to see dozens of children streaming through the doors of the sanctuary. “OK, Lord,” I whispered with a smile, and more confidence than I’d felt in weeks. “You’re on!”
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