Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Saturday Dinner at Sharp Top Cove
As I type this, thousands of kids are sleeping in their cabins at Young Life Camp all over the country. It is Saturday morning, which means that there are hundreds of sleepy heads who are alive for the very first time having been spiritually dead their whole lives… Today they will wake up to maybe their first or second day of new life in Christ. My friend Bill is in Minnesota right now with a cup of coffee and his little black Bible praying for his new brothers and sisters at Young Life’s Castaway club. My friends Abbey and Becca are washing the towels, sheets and toilets of their new brothers and sisters at Windy Gap in North Carolina. My friend Andy is at Crooked Creek Ranch in Colorado making his new brothers and sisters laugh. My friend Emily is at Windy Gap preparing high school kids to serve their new brothers and sisters as well as sharing her story with them and my friend Ryan is there as well, singing into the hearts of his new brothers and sisters about how Jesus is our family.
It’s happening every week this summer… at various places throughout the country something like 40,000 high school kids will hear the message of the Gospel and experience it in various ways at camp. Tons of money, time, prayer, organization and arduous preparation goes into this outreach and the greatest thing about it is, those of us who are a part of it are not responsible for changing lives! Camp speakers plan every word they will say, musicians plan every word they will sing and leaders pray over every name for months, but we have absolutely no control over who responds to the Gospel.
This morning I was reading Acts 16. Paul was in Philippi and went by the city gate to a river where he planned to pray, but there were some women gathered, so he started to talk to them. This is verse 14: “One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.” See, Paul couldn’t save Lydia, but salvation does not belong to Paul. Some of us plant and some of us water, but God makes things grow and He does it whether we are asleep or awake and in ways we can’t explain.
Praise God that He lets us be a part of what He’s doing! He doesn’t need us. In fact, He could do this a lot better and cleaner without us anyway, like when a two-year-old helps their mom make cookies… He calls people, He draws them to Himself. He holds the keys to their hearts and only He can turn those keys. He drags us kicking and screaming into new life and we wouldn’t have wanted it if He hadn’t caused us to. He has said “Let there be light…” inside dark hearts and for some reason He has allowed us to have some little part in it, whether praying, playing or paying. The great thing that this means is that success in ministry is not about results or numbers, because that’s God’s deal. Success in ministry then, is all about faithfulness and holiness. Are we walking with Him? Are we keeping at it? Success means to stick with it, stick to Him and leave the keys in His hands.