Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mountaintops, Valleys and Life In-Between

This past week I had the most amazing experience. I was privileged to be part of a week long summer camp for children in 4th-6th grade. I have to admit that prior to last week, the idea of being a camp counselor was not something I was looking forward to. Don't get me wrong. I love children. I love the mountains. I just wasn't sure how spending a whole week....24-7....with these youngsters in the mountains was going to turn out. I overlooked the fact that God would also be with us at this camp. What a difference He makes!!!!!

We settled into our bunks, acquainted ourselves with the camp, and it wasn't long before I discovered I loved "mountaintop living". Here, there were no TVs, no computers, and no cell service. Only trees, a small pond, squirrels, fresh air, each other and God.

Each day started and ended with Worship. Sometimes Worship was held in the small, wooden chapel. Other times, God's creation itself was the setting of our praises and our worship. As we breathed in the cool, fresh mountain air, it was easy to breathe in God's spirit. As we sat in the silence of the stillness of the mountains, it was easy to hear God's still small voice. As we focused on the only thing that truly matters in life

it was easy to keep our focus on Christ.

All too soon, though, our time on the mountain was over. It was time to pack our bags, exchange addresses and say our goodbyes. Sitting in the small chapel for the last time, I tried to capture it all in my heart. The angelic voices of children singing praises. The smiles on their faces. The presence of God. For a moment, it felt like "heaven on earth" and I longed to stay in this moment. It was so easy to experience God in this place. It's not so easy when you come down off the mountain.

The speaker at this final worship service knew this, too. And yet, this wise women of faith reminded us that while God is with us on the mountaintop, He is also with us in the valleys of life.

I knew this, too. My heart and my life could attest to this very truth. It was during the lowest times of my life that God became the most real to me. It was when I was walking through the fire that I felt God's presence walking beside me. I had felt God on the mountain, but I had come to know God in the valleys.

As I sit here tonight, the time at camp now but a memory, I give thanks to God. I thank God that I can still start and end my day in worship. I thank God that I can still choose to sit in silence before Him each day and hear His still small voice. I thank God that I serve a God who has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. I thank God that always, He is here.

I have to admit, now that I have been a camp counselor for a week, I am not looking forward to heading back into my "normal" life. Don't get me wrong. I love my life. I love where God has me. I'm just not sure how my life, the day to day, 24-7 of it, is going to turn out.

Yes...I have come down off the mountain, but what I must never overlook is the fact that God has come down with me. What a difference He makes!!!

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