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A Camp Song

by | Jan 23, 2024

     As I write this, Jon and I are missing two boys. They are in New Hampshire, having a grand adventure with the youth group at Camp Berea. Seeking God, bonding with friends. Time to play, snack, run, be loud, compete, feel wild, and make great memories. I can’t wait to hear the juicy details. Here’s why: our boys almost missed the adventure.

     Our family recently had an extended season of respiratory sickness. While these woes are small compared to what some of you are going through, I hope the treasure that came out of it will be inspiring for you, too. After weeks of waiting for healing, Berea became visible on the horizon. Even after strong antibiotics and much improvement, a sneaky, terrible cough showed up during the night. Every night. Fine all day, hack at night. Would we really have to keep someone home after so much anticipation? 

     As a family, we prayed and hoped for God’s unfailing love to make a way where there seemed to be no way. Just in time, the cough vanished, and we let them go. But we also worried – if we let them go after being sick so long, will they just get sick again? Will we all? We felt blessed, but helpless. 

     God’s grace gave us strength to get through to that point. And His grace showed up again, right over Hope Church. As we pulled into the parking lot, one tiny cloud was drifting over the building, and that cloud was filled with a rainbow. It was a stunning reminder that God is faithful to His promises. He watches over us. And not just our own sons, I realized later, but the Lord would be watching over the whole youth group. He watches over each one in the Hope Church family.

     Why am I telling you a camp story? Because, the other day, I read Psalm 34:1-7 and it told me to TELL – to TALK about God’s help and answers. It reminded me of the Lord’s compassionate heart. He doesn’t despise desperate prayers. I am absolutely amazed that my panic-stricken prayers go directly to God’s ears, and that He is moved. He answers (vs4). He sends angels to surround and defend me and mine (vs7). He frees me from the fear that held me captive (vs4). 

     I wonder how many times I’ve prayed to the Lord, received an answer, and never thanked Him? Probably an embarrassing number. Psalm 34 taught me to make up my mind. Praise Him in helplessness and in victory.

Verse 1 – I WILL praise the LORD at all times…

Verse 1 – I WILL constantly speak His praises

Verse 2 – I WILL boast only in the LORD

Verse 2 – LET ALL who are helpless take heart

Verse 3 – LET US TELL of the Lord’s greatness

Verse 3 – LET US EXALT His name TOGETHER

     This is what I’m to do when I feel helpless: remember how worthy God is. Remember specific times He has won the battle for me. And put my stake in the ground. Pray in faith. This is something I’m just beginning to learn to do. Thank you, Lord, for your patience! And when He answers, I must TELL OTHERS! We can rejoice together and build up each other’s faith. Maybe part of being thankful is the act of saying something about it.

     I want to grow in a spirit of gratitude and praise. So here, in writing, I praise God for a tangible answer to prayer which strengthened my faith and my family’s. And I thank Him for the intangible daily strength that keeps us going. 

     Even if the answer to our prayers isn’t here yet, can we talk about the Lord’s greatness? If there’s a verse that’s helping you hold on, why not share it with someone? You never know how much they might need it, and how much it will encourage you to share it. If a God Song, as we call worship music in our family, ministers to you, share it with someone! Music is one of the most powerful encouragements. It gets right down into our hearts like cough medicine, except that it actually works! 

 

“Let us exalt his name together. 

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.

 He freed me from all my fears.” 

Psalm 34:3b,4

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