Imagine a boy, about 10 years old, sitting in front of the TV on Saturday morning, eating cereal and watching cartoons. In the middle of his favorite cartoon, his dad comes around the corner, and says he’s headed out to the garage, to change the water pump in his old Mustang.
“Wanna come?” the dad asks, “I could use your help.”
Without any hesitation, the boy rushes toward the kitchen, places down the bowl, and yells, “I’m coming” to the dad he loves to be with.
All morning, the two work together. The dad asks for a socket wrench, tells his boy to hold a pipe, twist the screw driver right there, tighten the nut, grab those pliers. The son asks endless questions, and the dad patiently answers each one. Back and forth they talk and work, with the dad taking them thru the process step by step.
Other than beginning to get a little hungry, the son doesn’t even realize he’s spent hours working alongside his dad. Finally, they complete the work. As they wipe down the car, removing the grease and dirt from the hood, the man grabs his son, and puts his arm around him.
“Look at that, son, we just changed the water pump out this morning!”
He winks at his boy, and the boy is filled with a sense of accomplishment and pride. More than anything, he is thrilled to have shared the morning with his dad.
In reality, the 10 year-old has helped, but the dad could have done the entire job by himself. The son couldn’t have done any of it without his dad’s knowledge, resources or instructions.
“if we could only dare to count and reckon on Him, we would find that He was co-operating in church, and Sunday-school, and mission-station.” - F B Meyer
As I finished reading Mark this week, I noticed a little line in the last sentence of the book, “and the LORD worked through them,” and saw this note from Meyer. We’re offered opportunities to co-operate, with our Father, just like the boy.
God is at work, and has chores to be done, but we can co-operate right alongside Him, on His tasks. He will instruct, nudge, and tell us what to do at each turn, as we work together.
Our greatest challenge is to put down what we’re doing and respond, like the boy put down the cereal and walked away from his plans to watch cartoons. Adventure, fellowship, and seeing His work get done are waiting on the other side of our little yes to His invitations.
If you’re a parent, you understand how sweet it is when your little one says yes to your offers. You don’t ask for their help because of their expertise. You ask for their company, because you love them.
Friends, this is who Jesus said our Father is. In stories like the prodigal son, we learn we’re loved by a Father who doesn’t force us to do His work, but wants us to co-operate with Him.
And one day, He will wrap His arm around each one of us, and say, “Look at what we did together.”