(Sorry, these pics are only of the backs of the shirts to protect the camp name and location. 😉 )
This week, I was at Youth Camp with 400+ 3rd-5th graders. It was hot. It was loud and crazy, and I had to do tie-dye, outside, at 2:30 in the afternoon for 3 days! On Tuesday, I mixed up some yellow dye, and apparently, I had an allergic reaction to whatever I breathed in, because by the time we finished the craft session, I had totally lost my voice and felt like I’d been hit by a Mack truck.
By the end of the night Tuesday, I really felt awful, and this feeling kind of came and went the rest of the week, mostly coming. Yet, I just made a decision early Wednesday morning that this wasn’t about me, and how I didn’t feel good, how I’d really just like to stay in bed, or how hot it was outside, and how crazy, labor intensive this job was. I decided this was for the kids. Their little faces just beamed when they saw their tie dye shirts with the camp logo on them!
They were so excited to have a “real souvenir” that they made themselves, and even more than just their reaction to the shirts, their reactions in the altars each night. The way they hungered to worship God and to know Him more.
Then, I remembered the way JMan fell in love with the horses the day before; he stayed and rode ALL of them and wanted to ride them everyday for the rest of camp! Then, I thought of how JGrizz had been so responsible, working with the canteen team, as if he was already grown…These were the things that made me remember the reason I was there. They were the reason I decided to press on through, because they’re worth it. More importantly, HE is worth it, and their encounters with Him are worth it!
‘Cuz, sometimes in this Christian walk, that’s just how it’s going to be. The road is going to be wearisome. The future isn’t going to look so bright, and you’re just not going to feel like your younger, “conquer all self” in that moment. You’re gonna wanna just lay down and quit! You’re going to want to back up and question, “How in the world did I get myself into this mess? Why am I doing this? Is it even worth it?”
But can I tell you? It’s gonna be worth it!! God’s got great plans ahead for all of us! He’s got great plans for those coming behind us! We can’t quit now!! No matter what this world looks like. No matter what decisions are being made in Washington. No matter what friends and family members say against us.
This is a battle for the next generation. If we don’t reach them; if we quit now; who will? The enemy will. That’s who! These children are counting on us to win! They ate desperate for us to win!
So, your question now may be, “How?” How in the world can we win when we seem to be so out numbered, so overwhelmed, so discouraged? How can we possibly win when those who have even been on our side seem to be walking away? We look to Him! We look to the Author and Finisher of our faith. We look to our predecessors. Hebrews 12:1-3 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” We look to Him, and we press on toward the mark, and we pray! 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” It says if MY people, not sinners, not government, not politicians, not foreigners, but if MY people will pray…
If we will spend more time pressing beyond our circumstance, beyond our petty arguments, beyond what we’re hearing in the news and in social media, and we’ll press into prayer and relationship with Almighty God, we can watch Him move mountains!! We will see Him transform lives, and then we will realize that it’s truly worth it!! 🙂