I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in My love.” John 15:9
It came from the backseat. My entry into the world of pastoring was…abrupt. I told God I was willing to be a pastor and the next thing I knew…I was one. I spoke at a small church about 25 miles from where we lived. They were kind enough to invite me to come back and that is when it happened. They asked me and my wife Judy to leave the room and when we went back in, they said, “We just voted to ask you to be our pastor.” Well, I was honored but told them I didn’t know how to do that. They smiled and said, “Don’t worry…we will teach you.” And they did.
Soon we were in love with them, and they loved us back. So, our lives changed dramatically and very quickly. When I became their pastor, we had one daughter, Rebecca and Judy was pregnant with our second child. Jennifer came into our family in August and our Sunday mornings went from crazy to crazier. New to this pastor thing, I wanted to get to our church before anyone else and since we lived some distance away, we had to leave pretty early.
These were the early days of car seats but the bottom line was the same. Every child had to be strapped into a car seat. That included cute little three-year-old blonds who were not fond of car seats…cute little three-year-old blonds who would later declare, “Give me my way and it will be ok.” Well, one Sunday morning, Rebecca decided she was not going in the car seat. So, it fell to me to convince her that one way or another she was. There was a battle and I’m sure of two things. First, she did end up in the car seat. Second, I’m sure I wasn’t feeling very spiritual as I drove to church that morning.
So, after wrangling her into the car seat and with sweet little, innocent baby Jennifer on the other side, we left for church. The crying was over and there was a deafening silence from the back seat. And then, it happened. From the silence came this sweet, child’s voice that said five words that to this day are part of our tribe’s history. Those five words were, wait for it, “I’m standing on the inside.” I know, I just know, Judy and I had to look at each other and refrain from laughing. I.Am.Standing.On.The.Inside.
Well, the rest of the trip is lost to time but who cares…we had our memory. As I said earlier that little blond was just a little strong willed from the beginning and yes, she later said, “Just give me my way and it will be ok.” Well, I’m sure only a few of you know our oldest daughter but after a few, ok, more than a few times of knocking our heads together (figuratively speaking) she has grown into one of my favorite people. And more than a few times I have referred to that Sunday morning.
It is no secret that a lot of us have a bent toward rebellion. Sometimes it is with parents, sometimes spouses, and too often with God. Rebellion is what got us in trouble with God in the first place. God said no and our original parents in the Garden of Eden said, “Yes” and the rest is history. Why is that? Well, there are many reasons but a primary one is a lack of trust and understanding. You see, little Rebecca thought I was being mean. I knew I was being loving and responsible. I was trying to protect her. And guess what? So is God. In fact, John 15:9 says, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” Wow!
You see, He knows all about the pain, suffering and consequences of sin and wants to protect us from that. His book, the Bible, really isn’t a law book…it is a love book and in one way or another that is declared verse after verse, page after page, and chapter after chapter. If we listen carefully, we will hear the Whisperer whispering and often it will be words of love and encouragement. And, sometimes, we will just have to sit in the car seat…period. There are two things we can take to the bank. First, He has our best interest in mind. Period. And secondly, that no matter what, car seat or not, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne