Camping has always been something that I have just loved. The outdoors is awesome. Everything from bugs to bonfires.
I was fortunate enough growing up to be in the Boy Scouts, and we went on many overnight camping trips. My dad always came with me and that was always helpful because I never knew what to expect at times. Different trips always provided a different experience.
This week a camper who has been here before came, and unfortunately there were several things that he was struggling with and eventually, a parent picked him up and he went home. (Side note- I won’t get into any more details about this to protect the person that just happens to be my illustration. .)
So, the camper went home, that was it. I was sad because I wanted this individual to have fun and hear the word of God presented. But, it hit me. This type of thing happens so often in the Christian life. We hear a Gospel presentation and it sounds so wonderful. Eternal life and a debt that we can never repay paid in full for a world of people that are so undeserving. What better news could one ask for?! That this gift of life is free and available to me and whosoever will if we just extend our hands and accept.
The Christian life can be a lot like camping. It all sounds good and looks good but we aren’t sure what to expect when we get started. Accepting Christ as your Savior does not mean that life automatically becomes a bed of roses and is smooth sailing. I wish that was the case but if I told you that, I’d be lying. We aren’t sure what to expect. Maybe it starts off great and then there are some things that we are just struggling with that seem like we can’t get over. Then slowly the smaller issues become bigger ones. Or one struggle ends and a new one begins. After a while we may start to think, I want out of this. I don’t want to continue. Questions of doubt and frustration begin to enter our minds. Is this worth it? Can I just quit and try again later? This isn’t what was mentioned in the brochure.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever thought that that following after Jesus sounded great but there are some things that have happened and you find yourself wanting out, or perhaps even angry at God. Maybe we want to take a break and come back to it another time. I’m sure we have all been there. I know I have. We could look at the seats in church on Sunday and probably think of a few people who use to fill the empty spaces, but now are no longer there or even walking with God.
My fellow brothers and sisters, don’t give up! Keep walking with God. Keep giving, keep praying, keep reading, keep studying, keep growing, keep fighting the good fight. You are not alone in this. You are not the only person that has struggles. You are valuable and have worth and you are an important piece of a giant puzzle board. The Christian life is not the easiest but it is the best life. All my good times with God and what I have seen Him do outweighs the bad times, it is not even comparable.
As 2 Thessalonians 2:15 says, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” Maybe you need to revisit the day when you got saved. Or perhaps look through your Bible at different dates and events that have occurred in your life. Or revisit a favorite sermon or re-watch a conference. Whatever the case may be, go back and remember and relive the things that you have seen God do, and the things that you have learned from the Lord. Refresh and renew yourself. The old saying goes, failure is not an option, but neither is quitting. There is a lost and dying world out there that is searching for something. They are looking for hope in a dark world. Guess what my fellow believers, you and I, have the Good news to share, the Gospel. So, let us seek those that have fallen away, and pray through that God may use us as tiny instruments in the restoration of lives and furthering of His Kingdom.