December 28, 2004
Encouragement for Today
The Driver's License
Van Walton, Certified Proverbs 31 Speaker and Director of Spanish Ministries
"I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4 (NAS)
We sat facing each other in the dewy predawn moments. No bird had yet stood on the edge of its nest to chirp in the new day. My teenage son and I alternately looked at the locked door of the DMV, nodded drowsily to get a few more seconds of sleep, glanced at each other or turned our heads to acknowledge the many people joining us in line.
Waiting for the door to open, I studied my "baby boy" who was twice my size. There we were, with the same goal in mind. We were not unlike his daddy and me when we once sat in these same chairs, purchased many years ago so we could watch our preschooler swing his first t-ball bat, enjoy our first grader kick his first soccer ball, or cheer him on as he grabbed the football while running for his first touch down. Today's goal was a driver's license. This accomplishment would give him more freedom than any other contest had allowed him. An exciting day for him, he was eager to prove himself. A bitter-sweet day for me, I was hard pressed to be an enthusiastic fan.
Seconds ticked by and God invited me to pray. Ben peeked out from under his hooded sweatshirt, saw me staring at him and his teenage grimace-with-a-question-mark-on-it told me he wanted to know why I was looking at him. I mouthed, for others not to hear, "I am praying for you." He smiled, closed his eyes and retreated to the warm folds of his hood. A little later, he popped out, only to find me still staring at him. This time there was no grimace, just a hint of a smile with a question mark. I mouthed, "I am still praying for you." As only a teenage boy can, he dipped his head as if to agree, smiled bigger this time and squirmed back into the cozy comfort of his oversized clothes.
God taught me a lesson during that instant. Benjamin had worked hard to learn the lessons of the road, take the tests, get his documents in order, and practice his driving skills. This was the big day. I believed he was prepared. At 8:00, the door opened and we were invited to enter. Benjamin was given a number and told to sit down. When his number was called, he appeared before the examiner.
My child had prepared. He was ready to face the road test and claim his license. Similarly, I wondered, "Is he prepared to go before our Father, our heavenly Judge and plead his case?"
Ben returned from the road test. "Mom," he said happily with confidence. "He hardly made it difficult. I think he knew when he saw me that I was a good driver. He knew I was responsible." Benjamin paid for his license, sat for his picture, and proudly came to me showing off his permanent license.
Riding beside him, I expressed my happiness for him now that he was free to drive alone. Then I shared the comparison I had observed between his road test and his future appearance at the judgment seat of Christ. I asked him if he had prepared himself as well to go before the Lord and be set free from this earth. "Will the only One who can pass you, stand at the gates of heaven and invite you in because you have prepared? Will He recognize you as good because Jesus' work on the cross has made you a good and responsible child of God?" Benjamin told me that was a fair question. "Yes, mom, I have passed that test too." "So," I continued, "it's fair to say that I am taking you to heaven just as I just took you to get your license?" He turned to me with a big smile on his face. Nodding, he said, "Uh huh, Mom. I am going there, too."
Oh happy day! What a mighty and loving God we serve. I had been sad about my son's new found independence, but now I was glad, no I was ecstatic, in the affirmation of his everlasting freedom.
My prayer for today:
Abba, Daddy, Father in heaven. I was sad and You have shown me that I am glad. I praise You for the assurance of salvation and the freedom it gives. Thank You for calling my child, for writing his name in the Lamb's Book of Life. May Benjamin's actions glorify You. And, God, if he misbehaves behind the wheel let him be caught so he will understand the consequences of disobedience. Amen.
I John 5:13 confirms that believers may "know that you have eternal life." If you are not assured of your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, please visit the page in our site, "Get involved" and click 'Do you know Him?'
I John 2:28 encourages readers to abide in (live close to) Jesus "so that when He appears, we may be confident and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming." How do you know that you will spend eternity with the Lord?
What do you know about heaven? You might want to look in your Bible's concordance and read every verse about eternal life. You can also conduct an online study of heaven. At the bottom of the page, click gospelcom.net. When the page comes up look to your right and click Bible Gateway. A page will appear that will instruct you how to search the entire Bible for a particular topic. Choose 'heaven'.
Do you know anyone who does not have assurance about where they will spend eternity? Pray for them and ask God to reveal how you might show them the way.
Have you taught your children the way to heaven? Don't go to heaven without them.
"You shall teach them (God's commandments - read verse 6) diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. Deuteronomy 6:6 (NAS)
"... be glad because your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:20b (GNT)
Sooner or later we'll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what's coming to us because of our actions, either good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10 (The Message)
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)
There are many rooms in my Father's house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. I would not tell you this if it were not so. John 14:2 (GNT)
P31 Woman magazine
Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids by Sharon Jaynes
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst
Originally published Tuesday, 28 December 2004.