Living in the Most High’s shelter, camping in the Almighty’s[a] shade, I say to the Lord, “You are my refuge, my stronghold! You are my God—the one I trust!”
-Psalm 91: 1-2 Common English Bible
3 Years ago, I had an opportunity to take my youth group on a Canoeing and Camping Weekend. We had our plans all laid out, our food was packed, our river guide and veteran member of our church was along for the ride; and the sky was a beautiful blue. Being on the rivers in small plastic boats and camping are two of my favorite things, and so I was excited to be able to reconnect with God in such an amazing way.
We arrived at our destination and began setting up camp. I remember looking at the boy scouts in our group quickly building their tents and helping those in need; and thinking what a fantastic weekend this was gonna be. We were set to take out on the river 1 hour after we arrived at camp, so I was glad to see it going so smoothly.
Then it happened.. a rain drop… a single gasp for air could be heard in the camp…followed by millions upon millions of rain drops. For the next 2 hours it rained so hard, I could do nothing more than try to keep peoples stuff dry and their tents attached to the ground. Many of our students found ways to keep themselves entertained while many of the others just complained. To say that I felt like Moses leading a heard of people through the wilderness, might have been an understatement.
Psalm 91, is the second chapter of what many consider to be the 4th book or section of Psalms, and this section runs through chapter 106. Chapters 90-97 are the prayer of Moses and considered part of his bigger story. Moses, among many other things, was the chosen one whom God picked to lead the people out of Egypt. Moses had a speaking problem, and anger issue, and He murdered someone and then runs away (Exodus 2). But what I love about Moses was his faith. Moses had shortcomings that many us might feel equal to, or feel that our short comings are even worse; but Moses had faith. Moses was willing to stand in the line of adversity and proclaim that he would follow the Lord. Moses was willing to divide his people and tell them they were either with God or against God. Moses was willing to smash the sacred golden calf idol, without fear of a riot on his hands.
During this Lenten Season, I invite you to lay your shortcomings down, to allow God to spend time working on your heart, without fear of what might happen if your heart is right with God. So many youth workers today, are really good at working on other people’s hearts but not so great on our own.
The Canoe trip was very interesting. We had a break in the weather and floated the river on one of the best canoe trips, I have ever been on. We stepped out of the boats and it started to rain again, and monsoon rained until a local church came to our rescue by providing us a warm place to stay, some hot showers and a place for us to finish our retreat. On a Saturday evening, I was incredibly grateful for this little United Methodist Church, and had an opportunity to share God’s story about being rescued from the wilderness with my students that evening; and I believe we probably made our own stories that weekend as well.
Blessings on Your Journey,
YW Movement Tech Director