I've been talking about the funny things kids say this week on my Facebook page, and I was reminded of something that happened while I was teaching Sunday School a few years ago and how God used it to teach me to trust Him more instead of always asking "What's next" and "Hey, what's up with this?" and "God, what, what, what in the world is the plan here?!" It happened like this:
It was just like every other Sunday morning at church. I waited in the preschool classroom with my box of supplies sitting at my side, eager to present the day’s lesson on how Jesus can make us fishers of men. I’d worked especially hard on the lesson, praying and arranging all the parts to fit together in the best way to communicate the message to the kids. Now, everything was ready.
Before me, brightly colored yarn and construction paper peeked over bins of broken crayons. Sticks that would later become fishing poles poked from the box at my side, and my Bible story book rested, open and ready, on the table in front of me. Even the dry erase board shone clean and white, with colored pens lined up in preparation for the day’s teaching. I said a quick prayer that the lesson I’d prepared would impact the hearts and minds of my young students.
In minutes, they arrived – a jumble of small, flowery dresses, clip-on ties, shiny shoes, and children’s Bibles clenched in restless hands. As soon as they sat down, it began – the barrage of “what” questions.
“What story are we reading today?”
“What are those sticks for?”
“What are we going to make with those?”
“What’s in your box?” “What song are we going to sing?”
“What are you gonna write on the board?”
What, what, what . . .every question they could think of except “What do we need to do to get started?” Of course, I should have been used to it. The questions were nearly the same every Sunday. And just like last Sunday, and the Sunday before that, I answered them all with an assortment of “You’ll see’s,” “You’ll have to wait’s,” and “Trust me’s.”
But, this morning I wished it would have been different. I had hoped the kids would want to experience the lesson one step at a time, discovering each part as an ongoing adventure, rather than needing to know it all, all at once. Maybe it was because I’d prepared the lesson with particular care, and the order of events was essential to what I wanted to teach them. Or perhaps it was because today, especially, I didn’t want the surprise of what would come later to be spoiled by too many questions now. Or perhaps the real reason was because their questions echoed too closely the ones I’d been asking God just last night.
“What are you asking me to do this for?”
“What am I going to do if it doesn’t work out?”
“What is the purpose of these problems in my life?”
“What are you doing to me?” "What is going on here? Gimme a complete explanation!"
What, what, what . . . every question I could think of except “What do I need to do to follow your will right now, right away?” Like my Sunday School kids, I always want to know the end before the beginning, I want to know what everything’s for and how it will all turn out. I’m not content to take God’s well-planned lessons one step at a time, being obedient at the moment without having to know what comes next.
And just like when I’m the teacher, God answers my questions not with explanations, but with “trust me” – trust Him that He has a plan for my life, trust that He knows what He’s doing in the timing and order of it, trust that the lesson is a good one. “’Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,’” He says, “’for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’” (Matthew 5:34 NIV) He asks that I first learn what He’s teaching me today, right now, before I worry about what’s to come tomorrow.
And, just like my Sunday School kids, I have trouble with that, especially when doubts and questions arise, or when the plan seems to be going askew. Yet, even when life is the most confusing, even when I see strange sticks poking from God’s supply box, still, the best answer to all my “what’s” is a simple “trust me…you’ll see.”
What do you need to trust God for in your life today??