Better Than Disneyworld

Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.

While at the International Christian Retail Show last Summer in Orlando, my wife and I sneaked away one day to visit Epcot Center (please don’t tell my publicist). I’ve always been amazed at how well the Disney Corporation anticipates the needs of folks who visit their theme parks. They really do a marvelous job of sitting and thinking about all the possible needs a visitor might have and then putting reasonable amenities in place to meet those needs. Then I got to thinking (that’s when things get dangerous), what might the experience be like if they actually knew everything about my particular family and knew the day we would be coming and wanted to tailor our experience to fit our specific needs? Now THAT would be a ride worth taking!

Reading Ephesians 1:1-14, that is exactly what we have as followers of Christ. Our God knew (before time began) exactly when we would come to be “in Christ” and He has put together a lifetime of experiences and lessons custom-made for us. He knows our fears and our passions. He knows our inmost being. He has orchestrated experiences, both good and bad, which are designed to grow us and to bring us into a closer relationship with Him. He knows exactly what we can handle and what we cannot handle. He knows exactly what will turn us toward Him. He knows all the resources we will need and stands ready to provide them. He has adopted us into His family, giving us access to the resources of the kingdom. Moreover, He knows exactly how and when we will mess up or become rebellious, and he has factored that in and has accounted for it in His plan. It really is a perfect plan.

But one of the most amazing parts of God’s plan, one of his ways of providing for us, is the most unexpected part of all: His church.  I mean, who else but God would dare come up with that plan?  Make one of the most practical of all of the blessings and provisions for His flawed, broken adopted children…each other!  The church, it seems, is a huge part of God’s plan for dealing with loneliness, emotional pain, Spiritual formation, and a host of other basic needs we all have.  Yes, the same often-mistaken, sometimes evil, hurting, broken people who cause us so much pain are also the ones through whom He will bring unbelievable healing and joy.  Admit it…you would never have thought of that!  Only God could have pulled that off.

So give me the church, and all the stuff that comes with it.  You can keep Disneyworld.  I found a much better deal!

© Blake Coffee

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