Thursday, May 3, 2012

An object lesson

What do a fly swatter, a stuffed panda, a hat, an umbrella, and a crown have in common? ...I had no idea either. I just threw them all in a bag, and handed them to some of my clever (if slightly bewildered) girls last night, and told them to come up with a story using all the items. It took some time to organize and let the creative juices flow freely, but then it happened... They blew me away with a hilarious skit about fairies and magic powers, a kidnapped king, and an intelligent and bold rescue.

But what about some more serious items? What if your bag contains an incredible, loving mother who dies suddenly of a brain aneurysm, or a child who is diagnosed at five months with an illness that takes her life four weeks later, or watching your parents go through an ugly divorce in the midst of your already complicated and emotional middle school years, or getting sent to what is locally known as "the bad kid school" where no one really believes you'll amount to anything, or laying in a hospital bed for two weeks wondering if you'll ever get to go home... You know life has meaning, and everything has a purpose, but in the midst of pain, loneliness, change, loss, helplessness, you can't for the life of you figure out what it is. What can you do when you look in your own "bag" and see things that make no sense?

Go to Jesus. Take your bag with you. Lay all the items out before him, and ask him for help - if not for understanding, at least peace. He will remind you of his presence, his care, his love for you. None of the items confuse, surprise, or bewilder him. He knows the purpose in each one, and his purposes are good. He knows the whole story, all the plot twists and how its going to conclude, and he is in control. So trust him... in the pain, loneliness, change, loss, and helplessness, trust Him. Give him your bag, and all your items, and let him tell his great and beautiful story through you.

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