It has been some time since I last wrote, and I greatly appreciate your understanding as I took a needed sabbatical from writing to pursue some important things. It was longer than I had hoped, but nevertheless, needed. I write to you today on location from Camp Linden in Tennessee where I am currently working IMPACT camp for the TBC (Tennessee Baptist Convention). This morning, nearly 400 students and leaders packed their vans, buses, and cars headed home from a week focusing on experiencing God. The verse for the camp this past week comes from Psalm 143:8 which says, “Let me experience your faithful love in the morning, for I trust You. Reveal to me the way I should go because I long for You.” This Psalm of David is a cry- a plea- for God to pull him out of the darkness his lukewarm faith has plunged him into headlong. This got me thinking- how often do we take time to really EXPERIENCE our Heavenly Father?
This week, as I watched a congregation of 400 immerse themselves in the Word of God, worshiping our Lord, and experiencing not only His goodness, but most definitely His presence- I saw a group of teenagers and their adult leaders walk up to the mountaintop and commune with God. I witnessed a surrender to God’s love, power, and plan that often brought me to my knees in humility before an amazing God. I watched as 39 young people gave their lives to Christ and surrender to Him as Lord. In my 10th grade group, I saw 16 & 17 year old students- utterly broken- begin to fully rely on God as they laid their worry, stress, and doubts at the feet of the Father. This week they experienced God- we ALL experienced God.
And how did this remarkable thing occur? I think it is simple, we took ourselves out of the forefront of our lives and put God where He belongs. You see, Camp Linden has almost 0% cell service. We didn’t have a camp of students who walked around checking timelines, news feeds, Instagram pics, or twitter feeds. Instead of drama, we had devotion. Instead of work, we had worship. Instead of posts, we had praise. The students took time to experience God. This wasn’t just a student thing either. On Thursday, we had a color war (similar to the color me rad races) where hundreds of pounds of colored powder was mixed and then thrown at each other in organized chaos. Before the students ever got to the field to play, adult sponsors were there mixing and preparing the powder. The adults began to throw powder at each other. They laughed, they ran, they played like 5 year olds on Christmas day. They too were experiencing the awesome presence & fellowship that God desires for us. No emails were being sent, no offices were being called, no text messages were being answered- they experienced and for a brief moment in time- worry, stress, and doubt melted away for even the adults.
What is stopping you from taking time to EXPERIENCE God each day? Do we jump up first thing in the morning to open social media feeds instead of opening God’s Word and feeding ourselves? Have we allowed our schedule and our world to come before being in church AND serving? Have we taken the time to have a conversation with our creator? I am aware that life is short. That is why I urge you to invest in your eternity and your relationship with God the father. It is time well spent and you just might find yourself a little less stressed, a little less worried, and little less doubtful when we take time to experience His faithful love.
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach