I was recently reminded of a very important biblical lesson during a trip to the toilet. Now before you turn away in disgust please hear me out. This is not a gross-out blog. So let me set up the story with the quote that initially inspired me. It’s from a devotional book that I read daily every year titled My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. Next to the Bible it is the most important book in my life. In the July 11th reading Chambers writes that a true, energetic follower of Jesus will see every situation in their life as an opportunity to get to know Jesus better. He based that thought upon a statement in the Bible where Paul, who was a most genuine and energetic disciple of Jesus, wrote “…I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ…I want to know Christ…” (Take a look at Philippians 3:7-11). OK, on to the toilet.
I was awakened at 4 am by the sweet voice of my 10 year old granddaughter. “Grandpa…grandpa…I need to go to the bathroom. Would you walk with me?” Our entire family was camping together at a state park in Indiana and my wife and I had the blessing of having all five of our grandkids sleep with us in our tent. While the four grandsons gritted, moaned, mumbled, and tooted in their sleep, Gracie and I quietly escaped their strains and stench and headed toward the campground’s bathhouse.
As we walked I reached down and took her hand in mine at which she gave me an affectionate squeeze. The night sky was a dazzle of each star’s twinkle and a full moon’s glow. It was so naturally bright that we didn’t need our flashlights. We picked out the North Star, the Big and Little Dippers, and other constellations while basking in the moon’s radiance. At the same time we were serenaded by the forest melodies of crickets, bullfrogs, and a hoot owl. “I don’t understand how anyone could not believe in God on a night like this”, Gracie observed. I got a lump in my throat when I heard her words and could only nod my head in fear that I might start blubbering. We talked of how early sea captains relied upon the stars and moon to guide their way in the darkness of night and that all of God’s critters, which included the hundreds of daddy-longlegs in and around our tents, were created with a perfect design and purpose.
When we finally got resettled into our sleeping bags I heard Gracie whisper, “Thanks Grandpa, love ya”. I had difficulty getting back to sleep as all I could think about was the precious, previous 20 minutes and “the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ”. Jesus, the one who gives me guidance and light in a dark world; Jesus, the one who created all things perfectly; Jesus, the one who has me securely in his hand; Jesus, the one who loved me first so I could experience such love for and from Gracie. Oh what a wealthy man I am. And I learned all of this on a trip to the toilet.