Trust the engineer (or the chef)

Wednesday, March 18

Scripture reading: Isaiah 46:8-11, Job 42:2

Note: This devotion was prepared with kids in mind. It's a particularly good one to share with your family.

“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off—you sit still and trust the engineer.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

Kathy and I were fortunate to be able to spend our 25th wedding anniversary in Hawaii, and for our anniversary dinner we decided to splurge on a fantastic beachfront restaurant in Maui. Everything about that experience was magical. The host led us through the interior of the restaurant to our outdoor table overlooking the beach, with a perfect view of palm trees and the setting sun. While we were eating we got to witness a wedding on the beach right in front of us. How romantic! The service, food and “ambiance” were exceptional in every way.

When we were ready to leave, we thanked our waiter, but I wished I’d had an opportunity to thank the chef and everyone else who had a role in creating that perfect anniversary dinner for us. It was that good. 

The next time you have a good meal, either at home or in a restaurant, take some time to think about how that meal came together. Someone had to think about it and plan it, shop for and buy the ingredients, bring them back, and prepare the food. 

It’s good to have someone in charge of the meals! Whether it’s dinner around your table or out at a restaurant, a good chef or team of chefs takes great care to cook meals that are good to eat, but also good for us.

In the same way, it’s good to have someone in charge of the universe. God planned and created this world we live in and the worlds beyond it. He is a good and sovereign* king who is wise and wants what is best for us.  Even though we don’t always do what is right, God is so powerful that He can take even the bad things that happen and turn them around for good! It’s important that we thank Him and honor Him for what He does for us every day. We can trust God even when we don’t understand what He is doing.

Sovereign is a big word that may be hard to understand. Both of our scripture passages for today are helpful in understanding what sovereign means. It means that God has the right and the power to do all that he decides to do. When God decides to do something, he does it; nothing and no one can stop Him. Absolutely everything that needs to be done to bring about His purposes, God sees to it that it happens. That’s sovereignty.

PrayerGod, we don’t always understand the things we see happening around us. But we know you are in control, we know that you love us, and we know that you can take bad things and turn them around for a good purpose. Help us to trust you even when we don’t understand what you are doing. Amen.

Pastor Jay

Who’s the boss?

Here’s a game you can play with your family or small group. Cut slips of paper into 2” squares and write the word “BOSS” on one piece. Fold them in half and put them in a bag. Gather everyone in a circle so you can see each other. Each person picks a slip of paper; don’t let anyone see it! The one who is the boss must “fire” the other players by discreetly winking at them—one at a time. Once a player has been “fired,” he or she should wait a second or two and then throw his slip of paper in the middle and say, “I’m fired.” The other players try to guess who is the “boss.” If they guess wrong, they’re out of the game. If they guess right, they win. If no one guesses and everyone has been fired, the boss wins. Collect the slips and play another round.

For discussion:

 What does a boss do? A boss is in charge of a company or group of people. The boss has the authority to hire and fire an employee. Employees must follow the boss’ instructions.

 How is God like a good boss? He is in charge of us. He helps us. He gives us instructions to obey. His way is always best for us. We need to patiently trust that our sovereign God will always do what is best.