“Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?
(NLT) ( 1 Chronicles 17:16 )”
Have you looked back on your life to see how far God has brought you? Have you seen the protection of your family? The Lord has been good to you. Even though you have come through some tough times, the Lord has brought you very far. Go on, take a look back. Humble yourself before the Lord.
I read this devotional message as I woke up this morning. I started to ponder on it’s message and later got my defenses down. To cut the long story short, I got teary eyed as I read this devotional message. Gosh! I never knew that having a relationship with God could make a person such a crybaby. A crybaby in a positive way.. 🙂
The message was just so striking to me because as I look back in my life, I can really see how far God has already brought me compared to where I was before.
Today, I want to share with you an event that I recently attended. More than a week ago (Holy week 2016), I got the chance to join Heritage Christian Fellowship’s Summer Camp 2016. I was told that it’s actually the biggest event that the church has and I would definitely enjoy it. Honestly speaking, I was actually doubtful at first because I never really knew what will be the activities on the said event. All I know is that it’s a three-day event with the people at church. That’s three days away from home. Nevertheless, I decided to join and here are some of the things that I realized during the event.
Summer Camp is actually like a retreat with a major twist on it. If I am not mistaken, there were about 158 individuals who joined this year’s camp. The kids were separated from the adults as they had their own activities. The adults were then divided into 4 teams. Yellow, Blue, Red and Green.
These teams are now to compete on different events/games. and the team with the highest points after 3 days wins. I won’t anymore elaborate more on the games as I don’t know the names of some of them but to give you a little overview, some of the games include a getting to know portion, Human Tic Tac Toe, Q &A/ Spelling portion, a balloon relay, water relay, cake eating contest, tomato juice drinking, and many more. (I’m not even sure if these are the correct names of each game. lol :p). Almost forgot! there’s also the Early Bird award for the team with most number of members during the start of each activity. 😛
Aside from the games, there were also sessions where Pastors of the church preached. Topics discussed focused on the camp’s theme which was “Rescue, Refresh. Revive”. I could say that one reason why I continue attending church is because of the lessons and realizations that I gain whenever I listen to the Pastor’s sermons. They just give me chills! (in a good way). 🙂
Aside from the games and listening to the Word of God; there were also activities like writing positive thoughts/ messages for ourselves and others in a mirror; We had Speed Prophecy (kinda like speed dating but the focus is to pray for each other or to share a vision/ word that you believe is a message of God to the person you’ll be talking to). 🙂
We were also given the chance to write a letter to our future self. (I can’t imagine how myself will feel and look like when I get the chance to read that letter again after some years); We also had life groups where we get to share our realizations during each activity with each other.
Above all else, I guess that my favorite part during the camp was the Time of Worship. It’s the time where we just sing praise songs to God. It doesn’t matter if you have a good voice not. All you have to do is sing your voices out to worship and praise God. It gave me chills(again, in a positive way) and I really can’t explain the realizations that God gave me during worship time.
These experiences were something that I never expected to happen before joining camp. I could say that God really works in such a mysterious and amazing way.
Oh! by the way, just wanted to share some of the realizations that God gave me during camp:
- Why was I born 20 years younger than my brother and sister?
Yes! I was born 20 years younger than my siblings. My brother was 21 while my sister was 19 when I was born. Because of this, I usually question myself, if I was not born, then my parents would no longer need to send me to school. Considering that both of them were undergrads (didn’t even finished elementary) without a stable source of income, I really felt that I was a burden when it comes to financial concerns in the family.
God answered this by making me realize that I need to bring my family closer to Him. I know my family knows and believes in God, but it simply doesn’t end there; because knowing and believing in God means that you should also be “Living a life that God wants us to live”. — That is “to share His word and to live a life which would further glorify Him.” 🙂
- Why were my close friends separated from me?
I could say that I only have a few close friends. As I grew older, some of them went abroad, others went home to their provinces; there were those, who are just quite busy in their everyday lives (some were still studying, others were busy at work). Lastly, there were also those who were my close friends before but are now no longer the same (I dunno, maybe they changed, or maybe it is I, who changed). I soon started to be afraid of making new friends because I fear that they will sooner or later be separated/ distant from me. I understand that we all live a different life from each other; but I just can’t help but feel alone sometimes.
God then gave the answer during camp. He told me, “your old friends will be distant from you, because, I will bring more people in your life. and today, I’ll introduce them to you; here are the people in this church (Heritage).” It was during camp that God made me realize this. Inside church, I saw people just like me. People who were longing for friends. people who were longing for a family; people who were longing for God. I met people (aside from my old friends) who for the first time, can I be true to myself and I could say I can finally trust my life with.
As a bonus, my old friends who were far from me before are now slowly going back in my life. I believe that eventually, I’ll also be able to bring them to church. 🙂
- Why are you in a hurry to grow old Jeyps?
This was a question that God asked me during camp. As far I can remember, When I started working way back when I was just 20 years old (2011), my focus was always to earn. My focus was to become successful. My focus was to see the end result of my life. Will I be a success? or will I be a failure? During the past 5 years, all I thought was to become financially stable. I wanted to run a stable business, buy a house, marry, have kids, etc. I was in a hurry to grow old.
It was during the second day of camp that I got the chance to spend time with younger people (ages 18-21). I had the time to talk to them regarding their dreams and lives. It was just so amazing that as I talk to them, things during the past 5 years of my life (20-24y/o) flashed back unto me. What happened during those years? What was I doing? Why wasn’t I enjoying myself back then? Why was I only thinking of the Future? These were the thoughts that had as I spend time with the younger ones.
I guess God just wanted me to take it easy. He wanted me not to worry too much about the future because that is already given. I need to focus first on the present. I need to learn how to enjoy life today. Yes, I still need to work for my future, It won’t be easy; but God is always there behind our backs. We just need to enjoy the ride and let Him be in control. 🙂
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
– Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Photo/Video credit: HCF manila
I hope this article taught you something about how to achieve success.
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I Struggle, I Win!