We are all familiar with the passage “Be still and know that I am God.” Ps. 46:10 And while the sentiment is so peaceful, sensible and enticing the allure of being still diminishes as people, schedules and responsibilities require speedy responses…or so it seems. At the beginning of the summer in truth we were concerned because the number of campers were low. So we prayed and asked the Lord to provide more campers to serve and He did. Lots more! Then the need for additional qualified counselors became critical….so we stressed a bit and then we prayed. God provided and our staff flexed admirably and each cabin had a counselor. Through the obedience of many volunteer s and staff the Lord blessed us with an incredibly rich harvest of changed lives and hearts. We had 1,136 campers this summer. As the last counselor forms have come in 167 campers gave their lives to Christ, 365 recommitted their lives to Christ and 25 campers felt led to full time Christian ministry. We are humbled by the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the campers and each of us on the staff. Through the prayers and generosity of so many we saw Jesus move in an undeniable way. Next summer, when the pressure builds with needs pressing in, we will need to take a look in the rear view mirror and remember to Be Still and know that He is God…and watch God move.
Remember when you were a kid at school and the teacher was trying to get everyone in the class to settle down for a special announcement. Some kids were passing notes, others trying to cram in the last bit of homework that they hadn’t done the night before, some staring out the window and others were fidgeting just passing time until recess. Things haven’t changed much as we have grown older. The Lord seeks to get our attention before we start the day, but we are busy fidgeting with a coffee pot, cell phone, computer or television. There is wisdom in the words from The MESSAGE, Matthew 6:34, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Friendships can be forged anywhere…at work, at school and yes, even in stumps. Every summer we watch young campers head for the stumps to share their dreams, secrets and burdens with their buddies. In the Message Bible in Proverbs 18:18-24, “Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.” One of the greatest gifts camp offers to campers is friendship… friendship with God and friendship with fellow campers. Next time you are at Gilead head for the stumps and bask in the gift of friendship.