“Come…”

doorway

photo by mateusz stachowski

The following is a teaching lesson delivered during chapel at a local Bible college, during “Preview Day” where high school students check out the school.  Chapel brings together all students, faculty and staff.

Whether you’re a Preview student, freshman, sophomore, junior or senior

Whether 17, 57, 64 or 78

One questions resonates with us all: What am I going to do with my life?

As a high schooler you wonder, “God, is this where You want me?”

Freshmen, who are two weeks into school and a little overwhelmed, ask, “What did I get myself into?”

Seniors wonder “Where will I be in nine months?”

As staff and faculty, we ask similar questions.
“God, what am I doing?”
“Father, how do You want me to live today?”
“God, is this really what You want for my life?”

We all ask questions.
Questions about place,
questions about time,
and questions about our future.

And God says, “Come…”
“Come now, let us reason together…” He tells Isaiah in chapter 1, verse 18
“…come to the wedding feast” Jesus proclaims in Matthew 22 parable.

Come.

We wonder about the will of God,
but we don’t really come to Him.

We wail and weep,
but we do not come.

We beg and plead,
but we do not come.

Jesus Himself proclaimed in Mark 10:14
“Permit the children to me; do not hinder them;
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Children come.
With their hopes, dreams and fears.

They come.
with their scraped knees, busted toys, and dirty faces.

Children come.
Screaming through the yard,
proclaiming at the top of their lungs
the name of the one they know will make things better.

Children come.
Trusting the one they seek.

Children come.
Unabashed,
unashamed,
and fall into the arms of the one who has cared for them all along.

Children come.

You are at a Bible college.
We set up programs and structures to bring you to the very throne of God.

Group devotions put you in front of the Word
and in proximity to share with others.

Intramurals give opportunity to learn teamwork and cooperation.

Serving in local churches gives opportunity to give back
and to learn how different churches do church.

Community service provides the chance to see the world God loves
that exists beyond the boundaries of this campus.

But how do you come?

Do you sit in that chapel seat,
counting the minutes until your next busy task?

Or did you come seeking God?

Do you grumble?

Or do you admit to God
that you may not like this,
but that you trust His Word when it says,
“And we know that God causes all things to work for good
to those who love God,
to those called according to His purpose.”   (Romans 8:28)

Do you really believe that?
I mean, really?

Or have you forgotten that the God of the universe
may just have some plans for your life
that you just don’t quite understand yet?

For those of you who have spent any amount of time with me, you hear me use the word “adventure.”

I have learned that some things I have called “good”
are really white-washing tombstones
covering rotten things.

And some things I called “bad”
were truly things that served to transform my life for the better.

Calling something “good”
that God raises an eyebrow at
can lead to disappointment.

Calling something “bad”
that God is using to shape you
leads to shame over wasted time and grumbling.

Like I said, we have programs that God can use
to transform your life.

If you let Him.

We talk about God
and His love,
and that is true.

But God
is also a God of respect.
If you do not want Him to change your life,
He will respect that,
and He will stand knocking on that door
waiting for you to let Him in.

Like I said, we have programs that God can use
to change your life.

If you let Him.

Grumbling leads to nothing
but wasted time.

But answering the call of Jesus to come,
when done with a heart open and softened to His voice,
leads to a gloriously transformed life.

Wasted time
or transformation.
The choice is yours.

Dr. Jennifer Cook
9 October 2009

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