Kids (and many adults, too) seem to enjoy wearing costumes. We like to pretend we are someone or something we are not, especially if that someone or something is really cool.
On Halloween last week, Marsha took our youngest son, Micah, to join our other four children at school for their costume parade and party. When our four oldest children’s classmates would ask who Micah was, our children would introduce him as “Micah,” but he would quickly respond, “No, I’m Mickey.” Apparently, it was pretty cute.
Now, if Marsha would have taken Micah to the school in that costume on another day, it still might have been cute. He could probably get away with it because he is only three years old.
If you and I start walking around in costumes on random other days, though, and claim to be someone or something we are not, that is not so cute. It is just weird.
Wearing costumes on Halloween is something people have come to expect, to some degree at least. It is a part of “the plan.” When someone shows up to work or school on Halloween dressed as Captain America, for example, that person is much less likely to be thought of as a weirdo.
Knowing the plan is important, right? Knowing cultural expectations and norms is certainly helpful in avoiding being labeled a fool, sometimes at least.
More importantly, knowing the plan according to the Word of God is eternally helpful. No, I do not mean we can or will know everything. Far from it. What I do mean, though, is that we can be much more prepared for the things we will face in this life if we have an understanding of God’s plan.
His plan is found in His Word, so seeking to know Him through regular Bible study is critical for every single one of us. The better we know Him and His plan for our lives, the better we can live the life He has created us to live.
Take suffering, for example. If we do not understand God’s clear communication that suffering is an important and normal part of discipleship, we are far-less prepared to face and endure that suffering.
During our morning worship service tomorrow, I will be preaching on “The Suffering of Discipleship” and sharing three reasons we must understand this suffering (and how to respond).
Jesus suffered. He said His followers would suffer. In America, we have experienced far less suffering than many other Christians all over the world and throughout Christian history. Are we ready for that suffering?
If you do not know what Halloween is, you will be pretty surprised, if not shockingly scared, when your co-worker shows up dressed as Michael Myers.
If you do not know what the Bible teaches, you will be pretty surprised, if not shockingly unprepared, when persecution (or any other form of suffering) personally affects you.
Read the Word. Know the plan. Trust the Lord.