My wife was having a conversation with my 8 year old daughter, Faith a few days ago. Faith had been working on a string-bracelet-thing (see the picture) that she was going to give to our son, Caleb (11 years old). She was showing my wife what she had done, pointing out the mistakes she had made, etc.
Please understand, we are not perfectionistic parents, but Mindi did want to take the opportunity to help Faith learn something about things like “doing your best, giving good gifts, etc.” – so she told Faith that she should think about re-doing the bracelet.
Faith let out a big sigh (SIGH), and said, “But I don’t really want to.” Mindi asked her why, and she said, “Because it won’t be very fun to have to do it over.” That’s where the theological conversation began. Mindi asked her, “Do you think Jesus always wants us to have fun in everything we do?” Faith said, “Yeah…”
Mindi went on to explain to her that sometimes Jesus wants us to experience difficulty, hardship, even pain – because He uses those things to teach us things that are more important than “fun” – things like self-control, trust, perseverance, etc. It was a great conversation…
Christians today (at least in America) don’t come right out and say it, but I wonder how many wrongly believe that our Lord & Master only wants us to have fun… or pleasure… or happiness… or __fill in the blank___ ? And when He doesn’t meet that preconceived “job description” we are disillusioned, discouraged, and sometimes even ready to bail on our faith entirely.
Jesus is not a Genie in a bottle. He’s not a cosmic vending machine to dole out our every desire. He’s the sovereign Lord. He’s the ultimate Master of the Universe. He’s in control of the course of our lives. And His will and desires for us far exceed any we could have for ourselves.
Faith is not about fun… it’s about learning to trust Him as He leads the way…