I cannot even begin to write out what all happened this past week at our annual summer youth camp. I will need a few days to process and will probably use a few posts to cover the amazing week we had in Tennessee.
One thing that I was reminded of was the burden I feel for teenagers. I’ve always known that I was called to work with youth. And, it is times like these when God reminds me just how much work still needs to be done. Everytime I start to think that maybe it is time to step away, God is right there to let me know that I am not done yet. If anything, I feel a stronger burden for them than I ever have.
I’ve never felt fully equipped to deal with the problems, life issues, and baggage that these teeneagers carry with them. I feel like I don’t know what to say, but I know I want to say something. I see them hurting. I see them wandering. I see them searching for something. I watch them cry out for acceptance and attention and I know that I need to be there to help pick them back up when they fall. God has put in on my heart to help them find a path that leads them to God. It is my responsibility to be there, patiently waiting, for the moment when they are ready to…to…to let go, to raise the white flag; to surrender to God and stop trying to control their own lives.
Even as teenagers, many of these kids have fallen into a rut. They have created habits that continue to lead them to sin. They repeatedly fall into the trap of sin and cannot see a way out of it. I think the kids that went to camp this week were given the tools to begin the process of changing those habits and replacing them with things that are pleasing to God.
This was our main verse for the week.
Romans 8:6 (NLT)
So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
It seems so simple. You just give yourself over to God and you have life and peace. Who wouldn’t want that? But everyday, we let our sinful nature control us; our pride, greed, lust, etc. We choose ourselves over what we know to be right. Or, even worse, we have fallen into the same trap so many times that we cannot even hear His voice, and we have little knowledge of what is actually right; what is pleasing to God.
Anyway, it was an amazing week. Lives were changed. Decisions were made. Truly amazing.
I will try to share more of the experience over the next couple of days.