Vacation Bible School… definitely sounds like something for the kids, but let me tell you, I grow so much from my experiences with it every year I get to participate. The theme is Power Up: Raise Your Game. It’s cool that we get to tie God’s word to something most kids are seeing or doing every single day.
While video games are being played after VBS by these awesome kiddos we’ve had here, I am praying that they remember the spoken truths that we talked about with them.
I was blessed to get to be the storyteller this year at VBS. You know, get up, give the big picture, and hopefully make the kids laugh a bit in the process.
I love telling stories, so this was definitely up my alley; I’ve discovered over the years that I’m a bit of a perfectionist in certain areas and that perfectionist really came out in me yesterday. I had worked hard to memorize all the lines so I could fully engage the kids and not be distracted from reading off a paper.
I was nervous but was doing my best to remember that God was still in control and I couldn’t mess this up- not really, anyway. Well, I got up there, started telling the story…and totally messed it up. I skipped lines all over the place, had to get back on track multiple times, etc. By the time I stepped off stage, I was really disappointed in myself. I couldn’t believe that I had messed up after all that practice!
Did the kids even learn anything? Did any of it make sense? How could I have done this? I went back up to the office to get some work done and while I sat in the quiet, I started praying. Pretty sure it was mostly a pity party prayer, not gonna lie. But God was so gracious and He spoke to me in my frustration. Kind of felt like He was basically saying, “Sarah, you do remember what you just told the kids right? You just told them where our real power comes from. Yet here you are, trying to be powerful on your own without me.” Ouch. That hit hard, but it was a truth I needed to hear. I had gotten up to encourage those kids to turn to God for their power all while I was relying on my OWN strength to get me through the story telling.
It’s neat that we can take a week to really focus on God. We’re answering questions from the kids, making sure we’re giving an example, but we’re also trying to be really honest with these guys. They’re incredibly receptive and are eager to soak up whatever they can. So what is a better way to encourage them than to admit that we still mess up and still need God’s strength to get us through? I’ve gotten to see several adults doing that with the kids already and it encourages me to do the same.
To let go of the pride and let God be glorified through my mess.
Of course, since that’s the last thing the Enemy wants me to do, he is going to be trying his hardest to distract me from the truth, to tempt me to put my eyes back on myself instead of God, and get those seeds of doubt planted in my heart. The awesome thing, though, is that I know he’s going to be doing this. So now I know how to prepare myself for that battle: by stepping back and remembering where my true power comes and letting God be the strength inside me.
Definitely easier said than done, but, just as we’ve been teaching the kids here at VBS, “God’s power gives us everything we need to lead a Godly life.” 2 Peter 1:3a (NIRV)