VBS is an amazing week. It’s also an exhausting week. On VBS nights, I celebrate the end
of the day, with silence. Just the sofa and silence. After a few minutes, my mind is able to reboot from its recent information overload. VBS can knock off the best of us. And if we are not careful, we all might need to spend some time recuperating on a counselor’s sofa, talking about our childhood. To keep that from happening and to find joy during VBS, I have encourage you to join me in meditating on these three Biblical Truths:
1. Remember Joy Does Not = Comfort
Often when life is hard, when there are extra bills, or when the pipe breaks, we assume that God is angry with us. We assume that our suffering is directly tied to the verbal barrage we shot at our kids the other night. Thankfully, our God does not work this way. According to the scriptures, we often suffer not because of our sin but because God is working. As Romans 5:3 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,” Suffering is for our good. So if the kid who bites, yells, and throws punches winds up in our VBS class, we can still be joyful. That mean kid is here for our benefit. He is here to helps us get closer to God. And he is at our church to be exposed to the grace of God even it comes via discipline.
So are you having a rough day, night, or week at VBS? Take heart. God is at work. You can have joy because the source of our joy, God, never disappoints. Even the hard knocks we are going through right now have a purpose. Rejoice!
2. Don’t compare to others
Because we are people, we love to compare ourselves to other people. We ask: “Who has the better decorations? Who is the most artistic teacher? Who is the most fun? And, who is winning the most souls?” The simply solution is stop. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:7, “Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” Why are other teachers more popular than you; why do other churches have bigger VBS’s; and, why do other people get to lead more kids to Christ? The answer is simple. God is working. God is the one who saves. God is the one who gives the increase to that class or to this church (Mark 4;26-27). Admittedly, it’s more fun to reap the harvest than to plant the crop. Both tasks are important. Instead of comparing ourselves to others, and complaining, let’s be thankful that God is working in his church. Let’s boast in him (I Cor. 1:31).
Now, I am not against learning from those who do things better than us. Nor am I excusing sloth. But at the end of the day, we are charged with teaching the word of God and loving others as ourselves (Rom 10:17). If we have faithful taught the Scriptures and lived the Christian life, we are doing what God has called us to do. The results, the size of our VBS harvest is given by God (Mark 4:26-27). Don’t compare yourself to others.
3. Stay Focused on Heaven
Dealing with the girl who constantly trips, pushes, and verbally assaults other kids is not easy. In fact, such kids can make VBS seem downright pointless. But we must not give up. As Paul says in Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” If we remain faithful to the word of God, we will reap eternal life. We should not be serving in VBS to impress the kids, our friends, or our pastors. We should serve in VBS because the Holy Spirit is working in us. He is motivating us “to do good to everyone” (Gal. 1:10). And when we are tempted to tie up a kid and toss her into the closet, we give her grace. We work with her because our reward is not a calm night and peace. Its heaven. And if we keep sowing according to the Spirit, we will reap fruit. We will reap eternal life.
And, we will reap blessings here on earth. We will see kids come to Christ. We will see people changed by the gospel. It may not happen today. It may not happen this week. And it may not happen this year. But it will happen. If we sow according to the Spirit, we will reap blessings. Don’t let a hard night or week distract you. You are children of the king! Don’t give up!
Are ready for another day of VBS?