Thursday, January 22, 2009

Joshua Bookends

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

Most any time that I am afraid to do something or go somewhere, I remind myself of the above verse.

It came to mind recently as I was asked to help with a youth camp [EFCA Winter Camp Chosen 2009] over the past break. I didn’t want to go and be a leader; I had never been a camp leader before. I prayed about it. A friend gently reminded me that other friends would be leaders there; I would not be alone.

And so, trusting that God would provide all I needed to do His work, I went to camp.

At the training meeting prior to camp, Kendal told me that I would be a small group leader for four of our KUC high school girls. I know the girls and so I thought it might be challenging but doable.

On the first day of camp, during orientation time, I found out that I would also be a competition team leader! Not only that, but the team I would be leading would be made up of kids from other churches, with a co-leader from another church. 13 new names to memorize and match to their faces! I wasn’t prepared for that part, but God said He would be with me.

We’re still on the first day: the junior high campers stayed in tents. At first it seemed that there would be 2 leaders and about 6 or 7 campers in one tent [for the females] that was sized for about 6 people. The KUC jr. high girls were not happy about it and made that very clear to me, several times, even though they were assigned to another KUC leader. I didn’t know if there was another tent on the way for them, but I continued to trust in God. By the end of the day, the KUC girls [and leader] had their own tent.

More challenges, some expected while others unexpected, came up throughout camp. One of the unexpected things was that the girl who usually has the most cheerful and supportive attitude suddenly had a very different attitude when a conflict occurred. It didn’t help that she was on a different team; because of the conflict, I wanted more time with her to show that I do care about her and the other girls. More prayer, more relinquishing control to God, and by the end of camp the girls and I were doing better again!

God is in control when times get rough; He is also in control in the good times. From the second day on, I watched one of the shy girls open up and make new friends with no urging or initial encouragement from me. Our competition team had such good attitudes and spirits that I didn’t keep track of whether we were winning or not; it didn’t seem to matter [though we did win a few]. I saw people from IMPACT and got to know them better. I had a great time!

A couple weeks after camp, as our Bible study group started back up from the break, I found myself face to face once more with Joshua. It was as if God wanted to make sure I got the message; He was with me at camp. Every moment during the challenges, when I thought “I can’t do this,” God sent specific people to help me along and encourage me.

I know more challenges are to come, however God is with me wherever I go. How can one not find comfort in that?

Have you had a Joshua 1:9 moment recently? Would you mind sharing what happened?

Mahalo for reading!

Moments I would have missed: