“Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” Rev. 14:12, NASB
Forty years ago God called 10 country churches to build a summer camp. Pardon the quality of the photo…it is nearly forty years old. The children are singing “Father Abraham” which proved to be a favorite for years. Not unlike Abraham, we didn’t know where we would build it or how but God has faithfully provided even to the extent we have never had to charge a child to attend our camp.
Also, like Abraham,the camp has seen its share of trials, but the one that touches my heart the most was the year my Dad died, 2006. Along with a host of other faithful servants, my Dad, Mom and family have faithfully served in the camp these forty years, In 2006, my daughter, Heather, was overnight camp director and we were only a few days away from beginning, expecting close to 100 teens and the many volunteers, when the phone call came from my brother.
“Donna K., you need come down here. Dad is dead.” There was no warning. He died of a massive heart attack while he was feeding his fox hounds. His death left a hole not only in our family but in the camp family. Camp!? We had a funeral to plan and a camp to provide. How could we carry all this out?
“My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me…And I said, ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” Ps. 55:4,6, NASB
Have you ever felt like the Psalmist? What did you do? That’s what I wanted to do but God had other, better plans. We learned that year what it means to persevere in the sufficiency of God’s grace. By the time the funeral was over we had no strength of our own. Whatever would be done the week of camp, would be done in God’s strength alone.
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble…God will help her when morning dawns…The Lord of hosts is with us;” Taken from Psalm 46.
“strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father…” Col. 1:11, NASB
The first provision came through God’s presence with us. He never leaves us alone. Then He gives us the members of the body of Christ, our spiritual family. In these we find strength, for again, we do no stand alone but encourage one another. We strengthened one another and through that week, we had one of the best camps we have ever had. There was truly joy and thanksgiving in the camp.
Why persevere when trials come, when temptations call you away? Perseverance is the proof of your faith. With God in you, you can do nothing but persevere. If you are struggling, remember God is your strength. He gives you a vast family to draw from, and His sure promises. You will endure that is why you can rejoice and be thankful.
Praying, “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;” Eph. 3:16, NASB