As Thursday night came to an end, I felt like I had been through a war. I went back to the room, tired mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. It was as if I was all beat up, unable to concentrate or focus anymore, and yet know that the victory flag of God was raised all over camp.
I was going into evening chapel that night a little unsure of what was going to happen. scripture that said exactly what God was wanting to say, but was not practiced up or organized as much as I wanted to be. I had ideas of different things I could do, but not a final plan. It is nerve racking for me to go in not knowing what is going to happen, what to say exactly, have my stories lined up, and points set out, but as it has happened in the past, God shows up. Not because I am unprepared, but going in God ordained. It doesn’t make it any easier before, or during speaking, but when I know it is God, I just have to go with it.
I started and knew that I was going in the right direction, and yet felt like I was struggling with coming up with the next thought and where I was going. I wasn’t sure if the teens were tracking where I was at or going. I was tired, felt like I was failing, and yet I kept going. As I finished I played a video of the first Passion ONE Day of the song “Wonderful Cross”. I went to the back, and thought, “that was horrible”. I was feeling empty, like I tried to give everything, but nothing came out. It wasn’t in a neat little package.
I invited them to come to the front and kneel at the cross that was painted on the front wall. And it wasn’t happening. Nothing was happening, except a video being shown. Then, 4 girls got up and went forward. 2 counselors joined them to pray. I asked the assistant director of camp if he would mind going up and playing his guitar while whatever was happening happened. The video ended. Justin sat up front with his guitar and sang, unplugged. I sat back and just watched. Another counselor got up and went up front and sat by himself and began to worship, and a few from his cabin followed. Another counselor went forward, and a few from his cabin went up. They were sitting there just worshipping God in their own way.
I had a chance to pray with a young lady that evening. There was a visual right in front of me as I entered the room, of spiritual warfare. One student praying for another. One going to bat and leading the other. The other not knowing what or how to accommodate what was being spoken, just reeling from past experience, and self doubt. The kids had fallen asleep while I was speaking, which was the first time all week, luckily, because I had a chance to ask Tauni to come in and pray as well. She was in her element that night, and it was able to also bring a strength to me. God brought a peace that night to this young lady, and brought an end to the pain that she was feeling in a different way then how she was masking it before. She is not yet a follower of the King of Kings, and though the peace that she felt might be short, she still got a glimpse of the light, and I will continue to pray for her. I know that there was victory, maybe not in the way that sometimes we think of, but we need to learn that we cannot make someone else think or do as we want, they make their own calls, we can only point out the truth in love, and yet sometimes very pointedly. We have to let God sort those times out for us.
I rejoined the worshipping, as it had continued the entire time I was away. It ended within a few minutes of coming back. As I look back, it was as if they were using worship as a guard for what God was doing somewhere else, without even knowing it. I sent them talk over and share what God did or was doing in them that night and for the week.
That evening, as I saw the young lady I prayed with earlier, there was a new fire in her eyes, a lightness that I hadn’t seen all week. It was a relief, and yet I know that the fight is not over. The peace will only last for a certain amount of time, until she receives the Power of God to withstand the darkness.
As I talked with a few people and told them how bad I felt about the message I gave, because I still didn’t feel good about it, I was reminded by 2 campers as they walked by and said, “good talk Scott”, that it is not that I feel good about it, but that God uses it, and those around me that he chose for me to minister with.
And as I went to sleep that night, I knew that “I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7) of Challenge Camp ‘09, Boot Camp style.