The Great Amen

Our gregarious grandson recently spent some glorious extended time with us. Pulling us into his full – speed – ahead,  precocious preschooler’s approach to life, my normally active routine paled in comparison. Although nap time was not high on his priority list it became a necessity – for me!

Each day after stalling for as long as he could, he reluctantly went to his room. To ensure he stayed in bed, I would sit on the family room couch just around the corner. He couldn’t see me from the bedroom door, but I could hear him get up and open the door in search of me. When he didn’t see me he would say, “Aww, man!” before closing the door again. I guess he was hoping to convince me to let him get up.

Hearing his plaintive “Aww man!” reminded me of how often I also utter that phrase in frustration. And as those syllables rolled off his tongue, Holy Spirit drew me into an interesting language perspective. By slightly changing the last vowel sound, “Aww man” suddenly became “Amen”.

Hmmm…. the “what if’s” began to percolate in my brain.

What if in every set back I would utter up a resilient  “Amen” in place of a combative “Aww man” ?

What if I resisted the temptation of exasperation and leaned in further to the “Amen”?

And what if I allowed Jesus, the Great Amen,  to reign in my life as the ultimate “so be it”?

I waste a lot of time fighting against opportunities that may be kindling for the first spark of a refining fire.

Experiences that I deem as negative may eventually spur me toward joy. Experiences that can help me rejoice when I run into problems and trials.

For I know that they help me develop endurance.

And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens my confident hope of salvation. (Romans 5:3-4)

When life’s doors of opportunity seem to block my temporary goal, am I cracking them open only to rail an “Aww man!” at life?

Or am I acquiescing to the great Amen as I embrace the peace and joy of Jesus?

The choice of one syllable is up to me.

And it changes everything.

 

 

 

 

A Bump in the Road

On an unseasonably warm January day I headed to the park for a walk. As I strode down the wooded trail I spotted a small boy seated on a bike at the bottom of the hill. Trying to get over a hump in the road he was furiously pedaling, but going nowhere. Seeing no adult in sight I was inclined to stop and help. However, as I came closer I caught sight of his father standing on the path to the right. He had been obscured from my sight by a hedge of bushes lining the paved path.

The boy’s face was contorted in anger and frustration as his father called out to him. Walking past them I heard the dad call out to his little boy, “Do you need a boost?” I had to smile as the Holy Spirit spoke to me, “Sound familiar?” How many times have I struggled to get over my own bump in the road refusing the help that was available? How much easier would it have been if I would have simply acquiesced to the Father and allowed Him space in my situation? I remember the words of Jesus when he calls to us saying,”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. I don’t have to keep spinning my wheels trying to get some place fast when my Father is willing to carry me there!

It’s so easy to fall into the thinking that I can navigate this world on my own. Why ask for help when I am perfectly capable of running my own life? However, when the incline becomes steep and my little legs cannot pump fast enough to move up the hill I become very aware of my need. I am thankful for the reminders that God puts in my life, like little boys on bicycles and patient fathers on the path. And ultimately, the knowledge that when I hit that bump in road I can look up ahead and be certain that my Father is there, patiently calling out to me, giving me the boost that I need.

Thank-you, Lord Jesus for your ever-present invitation to find rest in You. Help me to remember that You alone are the truth, the light and the way. And when I struggle sometimes to find you remind me that I need only to call out and You are there. I love you, Lord.