The Way Up Is Down

Zebedee’s wife came to Jesus with a special request for her two sons, James and John. She requested that her sons might sit on both sides of Jesus when He came into His kingdom.

I wonder how her sons felt about that? Maybe their mother had been doing this all their lives, manipulating to get them promoted in life. Were they Mama’s boys? Did Mama always run their lives? Did they not have the guts to ask themselves, so they let their mother do the asking?

But Jesus said, “You don’t even know what you are asking. It is not up to me, but it is in the Father’s hand. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” Matt 20:22.

They both said yes, they were able, but they didn’t realize that Jesus was speaking of His own death soon to come. When Jesus responded, “You will drink My cup,” He knew that James would soon be martyred.

The other ten disciples got mad, but Jesus settled it once and for all when he said, “Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant,” Matt 20:26.

There is a song that says this is an upside down kingdom. The way to become great in the kingdom is to become the least. The way up is down, the way to become great is to humble yourself, the way to become the boss is to become a servant.

Even in the natural world, the best bosses are those who have come up through the ranks of employees and done the jobs that they are telling others how to do.

The way to see your child become all that God intends for her to become is to teach her to serve other people. And please don’t try to manipulate things to see that your child gets the best seat or the preferred place or the special treatment. No one likes a mother who pushes her kids to the front all the time.

And remember this: let God do the promoting. It’ll save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

Hidden Pictures

One of my favorite computer games is a hidden picture game involving deep-sea diving to a ship-wreck to recover the Queen of England’s crown which was lost at sea when the ship sank. To find the crown, the player has to find all kinds of hidden objects jumbled up during the wreck in the wrong compartments of the ship and bring them to the surface to salvage them.

Games like this are good for your mind, to keep it sharp, sharpen your memory, and cause you to pay attention to your surroundings.

Hunting for hidden pictures makes my eyes and brain look beyond what I initially see to what is there but hidden. And that is what faith is–looking beyond what can be seen and seeing with our spiritual eyes the hidden things God has in store for us.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” I Corinthians 2:9-10

We frequently quote this scripture, “You know, eye hasn’t seen and ear hasn’t heard what God has in store for us,” but we stop short of the real blessing that is included in these two verses. Yes, God is a God of mystery and, yes, we don’t always see or hear or know what God is going to do, but the next verse explains further, “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.”

God wants us to see the hidden pictures in our lives. He wants to reveal to us the things He has prepared for us, for those who love Him. When we reach the end of life, we will win the crown of Life that God has in store for all that love Him.

God isn’t hiding things from us; He is revealing them to us.

Waiting For That Day

Easter was always my favorite holiday next to Christmas when I was growing up. Besides the excitement of getting a new dress and new shoes for church, it was because we got to see our cousins from Wichita after a long winter apart.

Our cousins came home to Vinita for Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Rodeo Week, and Labor Day, but they stayed in Wichita the rest of the year to celebrate the holidays there. Their daddy and my mama were brother and sister who had grown up out north of Vinita on a little farm and still called Vinita home. Since there wasn’t a house on the old farm, everyone always gathered at our little house to visit.

If they didn’t have any car trouble or flats they usually pulled into Vinita by 9 o’clock at night but I started watching for them as soon as supper was over. Every few minutes I’d go look out the front door expecting them to drive in. Any time a car drove by, I just knew it was them, so I’d race out the door.

. When the lights of the car shined on the front door, I ran out the front door, slamming the screen door behind me. I always wanted to be the first one there when the car pulled into the driveway. Before the car had even come to a complete stop, I already had the car door open, and I was inside, on their laps, hugging and kissing.

That’s how I imagine it will be when we are ready to go to heaven. Our loved ones who have gone there ahead of us will be waiting for us to arrive. Some of them will be so excited they might even show up early to escort us across the great divide. You know, it is common for people who are getting ready to go to heaven to see a loved one coming to escort them home.

Jesus told us, In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2-3.

This isn’t home. Heaven is home.