God taught me an important lesson at Dairy Queen this week. You may think that to be an unusual spot to have any sort of great “God Moment”, but for me it was the perfect spot. I was simply going along, doing what I love to do (eat ice cream and hang out with teens), and God gently reminded me of some very important truths about Himself, His Word, and discipleship. TRUTH 1: God works in the course of our everyday lives. Discipleship should happen in the same way.
It was 8:30pm and I was meeting with 7 high school students who are helping to plan and run our middle school mission trip. I’ve found that excitement and creativity are directly related to the amount of food that they are provided, so off to Dairy Queen we went. My hope was to engage the students in a conversation about the worship topics we would lead the middle school students in. I presented the theme verse, asked a few questions, and the students dutifully stared silently into their blizzards. Has this ever happened to you? You hope to have a profound conversation at lifeGroup and instead you hear the lights hum. You envision your children delightfully reading God’s Word at the dinner table and instead you can’t get them to even answer a simple question. It’s in those moments that we feel the depth of how ineffective we can be. TRUTH 2: My expectations for others often keeps me from being truly present with them.
God showed up in that moment for me and surprised me with this reminder – TRUTH 3: Discipleship best happens on a co-journey of discovery. (TRUTH 3.5: Parents, God is calling you to disciple your children, not just teach them and discipline them.) As I sat there with those students, I realized that I didn’t have a firm grasp of the scripture we were basing our devotions on. I didn’t completely understand the motive and intent in the passage we were looking at. So, I did the most unnatural thing for anyone who claims to be a teacher/leader/parent/mentor – I told them I didn’t understand what I was reading. I voiced the questions I had out loud. I asked someone to read the chapter again. As I began to better understand the context, I spoke out loud the ideas I was wrestling with. And then, it started. They talked. In fact, not only did these students begin to share their ideas, they taught me things about this passage that I would have never understood on my own. TRUTH 4: I can trust God with His Word. God can use His Word to speak to each person as He desires, and true discipleship allows God the room to do just that. It was in my own confusion and vulnerability that discipleship happened. I was able to model what it looks like to wrestle with scripture and then how to dialogue about what God might be teaching me. It wasn’t in my original “plan” for the night. That leads me to the last truth – TRUTH 5: It took me getting myself out of the way for God to be able to do the work He wanted to do.
Who is God calling you to be with in a co-journey of discovery? Is it your children, a neighbor, a brother or sister in Christ, or perhaps a friend who is curious about Jesus? What benefit might there be when we shed the expectations of expertise and show up with wonder and vulnerability? I pray that God will bless you with a Dairy Queen moment this week as you live expectantly for Him.