Sometimes the load is heavy, and sometimes the road is long. And sometimes, Lord, this heart of mine is not so very strong. — “Thy Will Be Done,” by Joyce Eilers
Patsy Clairmont, author of the book, “God Uses Cracked Pots,” tells this story about her youngest son, Jason:
“Jason has two goals in life. One is to have fun; the other is to rest. And he does both quite well. So I shouldn’t have been surprised about what happened when I sent him to school one fall day. As Jason headed off for the bus I busied myself, preparing for a full day. The knock on the door was a surprise, and disruptive to my morning rhythm, which is not something I have a lot of. I flew to the door, jerked it open, only to find myself looking at Jason. ‘What are you doing here?’ I demanded. ‘I’ve quit school,’ he announced. ‘Quit school?’ I repeated in disbelief and at a decibel too high for human ears, swallowing once, and trying to remember some motherly psychology. But all that came to my mind was ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ and ‘starve a fever, feed a cold,’ or something like that. Somehow, they didn’t seem to apply to a six-year-old dropout dilemma. So I questioned, ‘Why have you quit school?’ Without hesitation he proclaimed, ‘It’s too long, it’s too hard, and it’s too boring!’ ‘Jason,’ I instantly retorted, ‘You have just described life. Get on the bus!’”
Upon reading this during my morning quiet time, two thoughts occurred to me. One, Patsy is obviously a kindred spirit, and two, it wasn’t just Jason that needed to get on the bus; we all do. Here are a few bus stop pearls to ponder:
1. Don’t miss the bus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:16-18.
God does not want us to miss the bus because we are stubborn and refuse to repent. Read the gospels that tell who Jesus is, how he lived and why he came. Believe that Jesus died for your sins and accept his offer to be your Savior. Confess that you are a sinner, turn away from your sin and follow Christ. What have you got to lose?
The bus won’t wait forever. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” 1 Peter 3:9-10. When that day comes, only those on the bus will be saved. Revelation 21:27, 20:15.
2. Take the right bus. There is only one bus to heaven and Jesus is the driver. When his disciples expressed concern that they didn’t know the way to heaven, Jesus told them, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. He promised to prepare a place for them in his Father’s house and to come back and take his followers to live there with him. John 14:2-3. He is the only way. If we hope to arrive in heaven when our time on earth is over, we better be sure to catch the one bus that will take us there.
3. It’s our responsibility to get on Jesus’ bus, but we don’t ride it alone. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7. We take our seat on the bus to glory among our brothers and sisters in the family of God. We love each other, encourage each other and build each other up. We do good to all people, especially to those with us on the bus. 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Galatians 6:10. As we travel along, each passenger carries his own load. Occasionally, a burden is too heavy to bear alone and it is then that we carry each other’s burdens. Galatians 6:2-5. When clouds obscure our way and the journey feels too long, too hard, and too boring, the sweet fellowship of believers who share the same Holy Spirit pierces the darkness, reminds us who is driving, and where we are headed.
What are you waiting for – an invitation? Jesus has already extended several. He invites you to come to him for rest; to follow him and teach others to do the same; and to live with him now and for eternity. Matthew 11:28, Mark 1:17, Matthew 28:19-20, John 15:5, 1 John 5:13. Everyone is welcome and there is always room for one more. Titus 2:11; Romans 10:13.
4. Obey the driver. Once on board, for our own good and that of others, we need to obey the driver. Jesus said all of God’s commandments could be summed up by just two: love God and love people. Matthew 22:36-40.
“If you love me, keep my commands…. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 14:15, 15:12. How do we love like Jesus? First, we need to know how he loves. To discover that, we have to study the Book that tells us about him. If we want to be his follower, or disciple, we must get to know him through the Bible.
Jesus loved people by teaching them to love God by their obedience and their love for others. The more his disciples obeyed, the more they came to resemble him. Jesus made disciples to make disciples. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.
5. Stay on the bus. “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13. Don’t get off the bus before you reach your final destination. True believers are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, becoming more like Christ as they grow in his grace and knowledge. Those on the bus will not remain seated in an increasingly sinful culture. They will stand up for love, stand firm on truth in the midst of false teaching, and stay on board until they get to heaven.