This is VBS week. That lovely week with a church full of children three hours a night. It’s a good week. It really is. But, it’s also a week that reminds me just how much children’s ministry is not a natural strength of mine.
That’s not the case with everyone, though. As one precious lady was leaving last night, she wrapped me in a hug and said, “I just love coming down here and being with these children!” She has raised her own children and several of her grandchildren, yet she never tires of pouring more into children. Or adults. Or people of any age. Anyone who needs her finds arms of love wrapped around them. Oh how precious that is to me!
This year I have been able to pour my energy into administrative tasks at VBS: creating schedules, managing registration, creating and keeping rolls, running errands, directing class transfers, making sure everyone hears the bells, dispensing information where needed. I love it! I’m tired at the end of each night, but it’s a good kind of tired. It’s the kind of tired that allows me to love on individual children who come to me needing a band-aid or direction from the bathroom back to their current station. It allows me to interact with parents as I make name tags for their children. It gives me changes to just sit down to chat with our bell-ringer, checking on her. It’s the kind of work that fuels me. And it’s the kind of work that frees those who love children to go out and love on those children in ways I never could.
I love the way God works in us! It starts with the way He fashions us with likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, passions, and natural talents. But He doesn’t just leave us to flounder around until we find what tasks fit who He created us to be. Oh no! He then puts us right into those positions if we are faithful to heed and obey His hand of guidance.
Of course, occasionally we have to do things that don’t fall into our natural areas of strength and desire. I might not be teaching young’uns this week, but I do take my turn on the K-1 Sunday school class rotation. Being a hostess ranks very low on my natural gifts, but I don’t always have a “natural” by my side when it comes time to serve guests. Sometimes I just have to do it myself! I’m an implementer, not a visionary, but there are times when I take my seat in brainstorming sessions. And, there is always that need for income that drives us to places of employment that do not truly allow us to flourish.
But God did not create us in cruelty, filling us with passions, desires, and talents that He would never allow us to use. He created us in love and perfection! He desires that we have beautiful opportunities on this earth to live in the excitement of fulfilling those passions!
The one thing we must remember, though, is that we can never fulfill those passions if we are not abiding in our Savior. Our greatest and ultimate purpose is the service and enjoyment of God. Without that, nothing else makes sense. Nothing else works. We cannot be fulfilled!
Tonight we will have family night at VBS. My job as administrator is over, as are the specific jobs of the teachers and group leaders. Tonight we will instead all serve as hosts, dishing up ice cream and interacting with parents as they come to see what their children have learned and created this week. Probably most of us will be out of our comfort zone, doing things and interacting in ways that don’t quite come naturally to us. But if we are serving our Savior and following the Holy Spirit’s nudges, we will all come away quite fulfilled from that attitude of abiding. And that, my friends, is God’s amazing gift of fulfillment upon our fragile earthly lives. Oh what a gift!