Push the Button
Tuesday, December, 19, 2017 | 1:11 PM | by Matthew Vandegriff
There was no question that her life had been changed. Her appearance, her countenance, and her confession left no room for doubt. Gratitude, surrender, and freedom were now written all over her life. She had been saved, and nobody could help but see it. Watching this middle schooler be baptized here that night took me back to when God first saved me. I think a lot of people felt that. A lot of people . . . remembered.
I got curious about her journey to Brainerd Hills, and what led her to our VBS in the first place. She didn’t have any friends here. No family in the church. Just a girl who heard Andrew tell the clear and unmatched good news of the Gospel. God said come. Her spirit said yes, and now she is an eternal member of God’s family and joint heir with Christ.
When I found her mother, I couldn’t help but ask what led them to VBS. I was ready for a dynamic story to use as a gripping future sermon illustration. But her answer came in one word, “Facebook.”
I was pretty deflated remembering that mundane moment when I had handed one of our ministry assistants the credit card to sponsor the post a month before. There was no spiritual magic, no exalted time of worship, not even an uplifting time of prayer that surrounded that moment. In fact, I had a headache, and she was being a grouch that day when she entered the expiration date and the 3-digit security code before pushing the button on the keyboard that would activate the post. VBS July 10-14.
But WOW what an outcome. An unreached life rescued. Little siblings with a Christian leader now in the home. The fabric of the church strengthened. God glorified. A transformed life ahead. How easy it is to minimize and marginalize our labor for God when it doesn’t come packaged in supernatural flare. Many Christians walk away from serving, make lighthearted commitments, or never give their hands to kingdom work because they just don’t feel any fireworks in it.
Believe me, there were no fireworks on that day of data entry. But somebody did push the button. That same week somebody poured apple juice for the 3-year-olds. A man picked up the discarded bulletins off the pews between services. I saw a senior lady leave her seat, grab her cane and walk across the worship center to greet a guest. One of our single moms gave a sacrificial offering even though it was back to school time for her kids.
It makes a difference, God is pleased, and even if the magic doesn’t happen right then, God sees, honors, and adds his power to your work. Even when you have a headache, feel like a grouch, or just don’t feel the fireworks, God has not saved you or invited you into his work lightly. He watches with love, and the blessing will come if we’re willing to push the button. See, when the fireworks do come, those are for God, not us. The glory is to Christ. But wow when he shares with us a glimpse of it.
2018 is coming. There will be another VBS, and many more opportunities to make a difference. Start the new year off with the God’s loving reminder, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).” I hope you have a great Christmas and a new year right in the center of God’s will for you.