The day was Thursday, August 19, 2021. The time was approximately 10:30am. The temperature was already approaching a sweltering 90 degrees. As I ran through a neighborhood in the small town of Mount Pleasant, NC, the sun beat down on my face, while the sweat began to soak through my shirt and drip into my eyes. While my body began to regret my actions of running in this type of heat, my mind was in a completely different place. In my head, I was memorizing and going through the message for the approaching Sunday Worship Service at He’s Alive Church.
Out of nowhere, every ounce of sermon preparation was abruptly dislodged from my brain, as two little girls whisked by me while yelling at the top of their lungs! One girl was on a little motorized scooter. Her younger sister was on a small tricycle. They smiled, they laughed, they screamed. I took special notice at their unbridled joy and could feel a smile coming across my face. As I ran by the youngest sister, she gained ever-increasing speed on her tricycle. Just as she passed me, I heard her scream at the top of her lungs, “Best day ever!” Her words shot through the air like a speeding bullet fired by a sniper. They literally almost stopped me in my tracks mid-run. As I slowed to absorb the moment that shook me to stillness, she yelled again from her speeding tricycle, “This is the best day ever!”
Though, by now I was several paces ahead of them. At the second pronouncement, I turned to look back at the two little girls frolicking with joy and basking in the lone, remaining moments of summer freedom. I refused to let this moment run past me. I stood in awe of their joy, glee, and wonder.
I wondered if they knew. I wondered if they really knew what was going on all around them. I wondered if they knew a raging pandemic that brought the world to a screeching halt, was now trying to stage the biggest comeback ever. I wondered if they knew an earthquake had just devastated an island of people…yet again. I wondered if they knew about the recent events in Afghanistan that will threaten so many innocent lives. I wondered if they knew about all the people currently in the battle with cancer and so many other diseases. I wondered if they were aware of any of these perilous times in which we now live. And yet, “Best day ever!”
I smiled and took a moment to breathe it all in and consider. For this brief instant, I wanted to grab everyone on planet earth and pull them into that street with me to see these two little girls. “Best day ever!” And yet, all around the world, it seems to be anything but that. But in this obscure small town in the middle of nowhere, far from the grand stage, God uses two little girls to remind me of His overwhelming grace and control. He hasn’t stepped off the throne.
My prayers seem to be more labored and intense these days. The load seems heavier each day. At one of his weakest moments, the Apostle Paul was reminded of God’s overwhelming grace, care, and control. In 2 Cor. 12:9, he pens these words directly from the Lord, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” It seems we all feel a little powerless these days. And yet, that is the perfect intersection for God’s strength.
For believers in Jesus, the events of this world need not shake us. The Bible tells us that they only point to the glory that is to come. 1 Thessalonians 4 tells us that “we do not grieve like the rest of the world, who has no hope. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven…we will be caught up together…and be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage each other with these words.”
Until then, in every unexpected, obscure moment of everyday life, far from the grand stage, if we’re keen enough to recognize it, he will send moments of perfection that give us strength to carry on, ponder, consider, smile, and give thanks. “Best day ever!” For sure, but there’s an even better one still to come. Come Lord Jesus, come.