As summer approaches, summer plans are being made and I know there are many children and teens that will make plans to go to summer camp as part of their activities while out for school. My son Drew, attended Camp Loucon for a week of camp from kindergarten until he was in middle school. Then his cross-country training began to take priority for him. Looking back on those years, I remember one year in particular. The year was when Drew would be entering fourth grade in the fall and he was old enough to attend Home In The Woods camp. He wanted the experience of ‘real camping’ outdoors.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and we took off for Camp Loucon to sign Drew in for the Home In The Woods week. This would be a week of camping in tents outdoors, cooking their own food, learning outdoor survival skills and a time to grow in his faith with God. We arrived at camp and Drew met up with his group and off he went for an adventure that would be like no other. Then, as nightfall came, so did the rain. As I heard the rain pour and pound our roof at home, I thought of Drew and his fellow campers. I tried to convince myself that it may not be as bad where he was camping. Along with trying to convince myself that it was not as bad where Drew was camping, I prayed that it would clear up by morning and for the sun to shine the remainder of the week.
Well, we don’t always get what we pray for because the rain set in for the entire week. By Wednesday, I wondered if I should go down and pick Drew up from camp. But, I knew I would be doing him a disservice if I had gone and rescued him. Yet, when I arrived on Friday, I saw the faces of frayed campers and counselors. I learned that Drew wanted to come home on Wednesday but was convinced to tough it out. Not only was Drew frayed but he smelled! You knew that he had spent a week in the woods of rain, mud and campfires. It was so bad that I stopped at a corner store on the way home and had him take his shoes and socks off and throw them away and we drove home with the sunroof opened. Normally, when I would pick Drew up from camp, we would stop at McDonald’s for lunch but this is one time Drew said “just take me home!” Drew just wanted to be home and in its familiar surroundings and where he was loved.
Reflecting on this memory of Drew’s Home In The Woods experience, I think of our daily lives. There are days that are so beautiful that we just smile from ear to ear and just want to praise God for all He is doing in our lives. Then, the rain comes. We pray for it to go away but it stays for a while. The rainy days sometimes push us to our wits end and we become frayed. It is during those times that we need to just cry out to God “just take me home!” We want to take refuge in familiar surroundings and where we know we are loved.
By crying to God “just take me home!”, we are seeking refuge with God and allowing Him to embrace us as we go through the rainy days. There is nothing more comforting and a feeling of home than being held in the arms of someone who loves us especially on those rainy days. It is those rainy days that we become stronger in our faith and we appreciate the things God provides for us on a daily basis.
When we took Drew to Home In The Woods camp that summer, we did not promise Drew that it would be an easy week. Jim and I knew that he would learn and hopefully grow stronger in his faith journey. God placed us on this earth and He did not promise that it would all be easy and sunshine every day. He knew that rainy days would happen as we journey through our earthly life. Yet, He did promise that we can seek shelter with Him. It is through the rain that our faith grows stronger and we develop an appreciation for our home with God. Next time rain comes your way, just get on your knees and ask God to “just take me home!” and take refuge in His loving arms, His familiar surroundings, and allow Him to walk with you in the rain.
Trust in Him at ALL times, you people;
Pour our your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
- Unexpected Blessing (aprilhawk.wordpress.com)