Thursday, July 30, 2009

Out in the Woods

My son was sleeping by himself out in the woods last night.

So...I wasn't sleeping at all.

He's at Boy Scout Camp and this is part of a Wilderness survival merit badge. They're taken to a spot in the woods with their sleeping bag, they construct a shelter and then spend part of the night until they're awakened at 3 am to find their way back to the main camping area.

I lay in bed praying that he wouldn't be scared, and if he was that he would pray; that he wouldn't be cold, or scared, or eaten by mosquitoes, or scared...

Did I want him sleeping out under a tree somewhere? Well no...and yes...
I want him to be prepared so that he'll be comfortable in the woods and on his own and to gain the skills he needs to get through life and that covers many areas doesn't it?

It's remembering the first day of school where they were tentative and we were tearful - how would they ever make it all day without us? How would we?
Fast forward a mere thirteen years and they're driving off with a car crammed full of stuff for college... but at the moment he's twelve and sleeping in the woods....

We go through trials and they're not fun. We don't understand why God would let us suffer like this and find ourselves saying repeatedly "Why do I have to go through this?"

Romans 5;3 says "We know that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope..."

"Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" James 1:2-4

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
I Peter 1:6-7

What Robbie didn't know, while he was sleeping in the woods, is that there was a counselor also in the woods nearby watching out for him. Although he thought he was alone, he wasn't.

Even if we're scared and feel we're in this difficulty all alone, we're not. God has promised that "I will never leave you or forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5)

Just as I was pulling for Robbie out there in the woods, God is pulling for us in our trials that we will be victorious. We have an unseen Counselor by our side.

In Luke 22 we find this precious story,” The Lord said, 'Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon that your faith may not fail.'"

Jesus is interceding on my behalf. When I don't understand why this is happening or how I'll get through it, Christ is praying for me. He is with me, He is for me, He is confident that I will not only come through this but that my faith will grow because of it.

When I'm out in the woods, I am not alone.

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