Bible School – A place of miracles!

I am a product of VBS – Vacation Bible School. Memories of one particular Bible School are very vivid in my mind. I felt the distinct prodding of the Holy Spirit, but I was only 5 or 6 years old. I understood that I was a sinner. I wanted to be forgiven. A supernatural event, a true miracle, was happening in my heart and life.

And then sin got in the way. Yes, pride. I hate to admit it, but even at that young age, I had to fight against pride and a tendency to desire a bit too much privacy.

You see, my parents were a part of the prayer team that particular night at Bible School. As my heart softened toward the Holy Spirit’s call on my life to accept Jesus as my Savior, my heart also became harder. I was in a tug of war, and my stubborn pride eventually got in the way. Before I actually got out of my seat to make this significant step in my faith I froze. 
  • I didn’t want to face my parents! 
  • I couldn’t face my parents! 
  • I didn’t want them to know that I was a sinner!
  • I certainly didn’t want them to know any of my private thoughts. 

This moment was supposed to be between me and God. So, I stayed in my seat and waited for the service to end. A sad end to a special night at Bible School.

The next memory I have is sitting on “the old gray couch” with my mother asking me if something was wrong. I don’t remember the discussion, but I do know that I spilled out everything that was churning inside of me. Eventually, my mother led me in a prayer as I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins, and I invited Him to be a part of my life!

Whew! That wasn’t so bad. I survived, and so did my mom. That specific memory ended, and life continued on. I was a pretty good kid. I grew in my faith, learned memory verses, attended church, sang in the kid's choir and enjoyed a happy childhood.

The next miraculous moment in my spiritual life was about 8 years later. I was in my early teens when a guest speaker came to our church and challenged all those present to make a commitment to follow Christ wherever He may lead. Once again, I felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit. That was my desire. I did want to obey God. I was willing to go and do anything He asked of me.

But, I was sitting with my parents that Sunday morning. What would they think of me?

I have no further memories of the inner turmoil that went on within me, but I am grateful to say that I didn’t go home that day without following the Holy Spirit’s calling. I did stand up in my pew and in so doing professed that I was willing to go wherever God led me. I chose to be obedient to His voice - and I didn't let my pride get in the way. I actually didn't really realize how significant that particular day was in my spiritual life until decades later. 

In my teen years, I struggled a bit and made my share of poor choices, but God’s watchful care kept me upright and headed – generally speaking – on the right path. Fast forward to college, where I rededicated my life to Christ one night. The next day, I separated myself from some unhealthy relationships, began to change a few habits and started fresh in my walk of obedience to Christ.

My testimony of faith is merely a series of simple steps of obedience. No great light. No emotional outbursts. Just the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart and pricking my pride. Each moment of spiritual growth was caused by an outpouring of the Holy Spirit coupled with the miraculous power of God. When I try to take in that the God of the universe cares about me and you, I am beyond amazed - and humbled!

It is amazing to think that this year at Vacation Bible Schools all around the world, boys and girls are being given the opportunity to learn about Jesus’ love for them and are being challenged to accept Him as their Savior. What amazing things will God do in their lives? What bumps will they have to endure? What challenges will God put before them? What opportunities will they be obedient to?

Who will hear the voice of God calling their name this week?

Dear Heavenly Father,
I am a product of the faithful hands and feet of your messengers who shared the Good News many years ago. Thank you for providing that opportunity in my life and for calling me to you. I have been blessed abundantly by your patience and grace. Your unfailing love has carried me through many dark valleys, but I’ve always known that you were right there beside me. May you give an extra portion of grace and peace to those who will be or who have shared the message of Jesus through Bible School or other children’s ministries and camps this summer. Hold close the little ones who have accepted your gift of salvation and protect them as they grow in wisdom and stature. May we, as your church, continue to be faithful to share the hope of Jesus with all those you bring across our paths – at church, at home, at the ball field, on the beach and beyond. You, Oh God, are greatly to be praised. I am humbled by your mercy. To You be all the glory and praise! Amen

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