Today when I got to work I had a lot of things on my mind. We are really short staffed this week and it has been hectic. At some point during the day I was supposed to get a call from a mom who had some concerns. It was starting to rain and weather reports were saying it would stay that way all day, so I had to start coming up with a plan for what to do if that happened. It wasn’t shaping up to be an ideal morning.
Towards the end of drop off, one of my counselors came up to me and told me about a camper who had sat in the corner by themselves. They had talked to the camper and found out his grandmother had been shot and was in the hospital. I had the same reaction you are probably having now as you read this. I went up to the camper and asked him if he wanted to go talk in my office. In my office he told me about visiting his grandmother in the hospital and how she was struggling to live. She didn’t even remember him when he visited her. He didn’t want to do anything at camp because he was too upset. I asked him if he had prayed about it and he told me he had but nothing was getting better. My mind was racing. How do I explain to a ten-year old kid that God hears our prayers and cares, even when it may seem to us that He doesn’t? To make things even more complicated, this camper is also currently homeless and is living in a rescue mission. It would be real easy for him to believe that God had left him. I did my best to explain to Him that God loves us no matter what and doesn’t wish that anything bad would happen to us, but since there is sin in the world they do. I told him that even if it seemed like God doesn’t hear our prayers, He does and even when we can’t see any results it doesn’t mean God isn’t doing something. I tried to explain to Him that even God can make bad things better, even if the end results aren’t what we had wished. I told him that I knew what it was like to unexpectedly lose a close family member, and if he ever wanted to talk more about it to find me. Then I challenged him to go hang out with his group and play some games and told him it would help take his mind off of things for a bit. He agreed to and I took him back to his group.
That conversation was way crazier and heavier than anything I had planned on having at camp today. I was completely unprepared for it. It is so easy to get wrapped up in what we have going on. I had seen this camper get off the bus and walk inside. When he walked past me I went to give him a high-five and he left me hanging. I just figured he was still tired and a little grumpy. I went on with my morning and didn’t think anything of it. I was so focused on what I had going on that I completely missed a camper in need.
Philippians 2:3-4 tells us, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” God knew we would easily be distracted by all the things we have going on in our life that it would be easy to forget about others. Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” It is not easy to lay down our burdens to take on someone else’s, but God wants us to. When we lay down our burdens, it gives someone else the chance to pick them up. Have you ever noticed how it always seems easier to help someone with the things in their life than it is to deal with your own stuff? God designed it that way. He wants us to be looking out for other people. We all have stuff going on in our life. I’d encourage you to lay that stuff down and pick up the stuff of someone else. You’d be amazed at the results you will see!
until next time…