“What are you going to do with a quiet house all week?”
“What are your plans?”
“I would clean house!”
“I would sleep!!”
“I would get things done!!!”
These are just some of the questions and comments I heard heading into this week. Why? Because for the first time in many years, I am not at camp with my children or spouse. For those of you who have children or have had children, you understand these questions and remarks. I too understand them and feel the same way to a certain extent. While I did look forward to having some time alone, it has been hard for me and my struggle was not anticipated. Maybe you have felt the same way.
Why Do You Go?
As the questions and comments began flying my way, I began evaluating my heart as to why I attend camp in the first place. This inner reflection and prayer time boiled down to one main reason: to be a part of my children’s spiritual growth. It is one thing to send your children to camp and have them return and share all that they have experienced. It is quite another thing to be there in the midst of God’s presence moving in and out of their lives throughout the day and during the worship time. It allows an opportunity to pray on the spot for needs or things the Lord leads you in as He opens your eyes walking around the campus. These are the things I was grieving because I thought I would not be able to be involved with the work God would be doing throughout the week.
Prayer Transcends Physical Boundaries
So I went back to pray and reflect on why I was thinking I would not be able to be involved. There is a connection when you serve alongside someone or attend a camp together. It is not that I am trying to be an over-protective mother. No. I want to be able to share deeply with my children and spouse in the spiritual growth that occurs during times set apart for undisturbed, undistracted time with God. This year, I was going to have to learn to listen closer to God and allow Him to show me what to pray for as His eyes wandered among the camp. He knows what is going on so I must leave it to Him to tell me what needs to be prayed for. This takes faith! And God is Faithful.
Coming back from the camp on Monday alone in the 15 passager van, God’s presence was all around. I listened to a podcast and then had a great time of worship. You can sing as loud as you want traveling down I-10 when no one is in the car with you!! Then I entered into a time of prayer. It was amazing to listen to God and hear the words coming out of my mouth as He led me in specific things to pray for each individual student and counselor attending the camp. It was unbelievable. After I made it home and let Scott know, a little later I got a text saying God was already doing some pretty cool things. Isn’t that just like God.
Having been to camp for many years, I know the schedule of the day pretty well to a certain extent. My heart is constantly thinking what my children are doing at certain hours of the day. As I have practiced lifting my children and spouse along with the other students and counselors up in prayer throughout the day, God has whispered to me His heart. His longing throughout the day as He looks upon me and longs for me to commune with Him is even greater than my longing to commune with my children and spouse. The communion God had with Jesus while they were separated, is a picture of what God desires for us in our relationship with Him and the rest of the body of Christ. God and Jesus had been together before time began and yet, He sent His Son to earth (John 3:16).
They were separated, but not separated.
Jesus, sent His disciples out to do His work (Matthew 10).
They were separated, but not separated.
Jesus left us here on earth to spread the message and hope of the gospel (John 14:1-4).
We are separated from Him, but not separated.
For His word tells us that God will send the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, who will teach us all things and remind us of everything Jesus has told us (John 14:26). It is the daily, moment by moment pattern of Jesus’ life of prayer that we must learn to follow. While we may be separated from those we love and desire to see God move in their lives, we need to remember His promise that God will never leave us or forsake us (Deuternomy 31:6). He is always there. The only way we too can be with our loved ones and the body of Christ is to sit at the feet of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Sure I have enjoyed my quiet time this week. No extra dishes, no socks laying everywhere, no meal planning. But I do miss them. It is through prayer that my heart is set at ease and rests in the Father who holds us all.
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