Hi Swamp Blog Readers!
I hope you've had a great week. And, remember to sign up for Camp's 25th Anniversary!
This week I wanted to be real with you guys and talk about something we all face and yet don't always address. Doubt. Lately I've been realizing that doubt is not something that we wrestle with just when we're deciding whether or not to follow God. It is an ongoing battle and something totally normal to fight with.
Personally, I've been dealing with a lot of changes and transitions in my life. It has made me re-evaluate the world and ask questions about God that I either haven't before or haven't thought of in the same way before. It has made me ask if God is the same God in this new phase of life I'm in. Sometimes, asking these questions can make us feel like we are sinning or that we are being faithless. However, Peter talks about this very thing when addressing the trials facing God's people.
"These [trials] have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
-1 Peter 1:7
Our faith is not something static. Just like a human being, it has to grow and change. It must be refined. It is easy to read a scripture like this and feel like we clearly see God's purpose for trials in our lives. But, how do we place our security in God when our minds don't feel fully affirmed of His realness or His faithfulness? And, how de we have faith in a faithless world, where there are thousands of other things screaming for our attention and idolization?
First of all, I think we have to address the doubts and study them out, whether that is through the Bible or other scholarly sources. How are we supposed to be resolved, if we don't study out our doubts? Secondly, we can pray to God about our doubts and ask older people in our lives for wisdom. And, ultimately, we have to do something that is a bit of a conundrum. We have to have faith.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
There will always be things we don't understand in our lives, and sometimes we have to just make the choice to trust in God and his purposes. It's never easy, especially when we face trials, life changes, or grief. The Bible reminds us, however, that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that he will never forsake us. One of my favorite bible verses about faith is in Mark 9, where a father asks Jesus to cast out a demon from his son. However, the father is not completely certain that Jesus can do it. The man then says, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" Jesus then casts the demon out of the man's son.
I love this scripture, because it shows that God is not looking for a person who never doubts. He is looking for someone who chooses to keep pursuing faith. He is looking for someone who is willing to stay in the battle and work through the doubts. He is looking for someone who will stay until their faith is refined like gold.
This Week's Alumni Moment: Stephen 'Scuba' Goodwin (Roswell, GA)
"Some of my favorite memories at camp were the Friday night lip syncs. As a camper, I loved being able to dance, sing, and be silly with all my cabin mates. I loved how it all came together Friday nights and how we got to build those fun memories. As a counselor, I loved seeing my kids work together all week and watch them bond through laughter and fun. There were countless lip syncs that I remember laughing so hard, my stomach hurt. Seeing my kids enjoy the time together were some of my all time favorite memories."
Much Love & Respect,
Dec. 29-Jan. 1
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