"For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light." Psalm 36:9
You will find me here making my way through a memory of 'Camp Joy' again so come along if you wish.
Sonya, a friend of ours and myself had gotten to know a gentle dog this one summer while visiting our beloved church camp. She had wandered up as my family sat at a picnic table enjoying our lunch. As we finished our meal we gave her scraps from the table and she quickly became our sweet friend. I had overheard Mama and Daddy discussing the condition of this animal as probably being a mama herself and wondered where she kept her babies (that got me to wondering, too)
One afternoon the three of us were enjoying the great outdoors as we noticed our fury friend walking off into the woods and we decided we would follow, hoping she might lead us to her litter. As we excitedly traipsed along behind her she would stop and look at us, but then would continue on her way.
We made our way down into the woods, walking right through our camps makeshift worship area and deep into the forest. We followed a dry river bed for a while, and as we went our enthusiasm grew more and more. We talked and giggled and skipped our way until finally we reached an old fallen tree log that had a huge hole in the side of it that made for a perfect shelter for her pups.
We slowly gathered around as mama dog stood at attention but never once acted threatened by our arrival. They were the sweetest, most cuddly little fur balls you ever did see. She let us hold them and play with them until our hearts content. She was the kindest, most gentle animal I had ever been around (knowing my fear of dogs).
As we were oohing and awing over the wobbly little creatures I happened to notice it was getting dark. I jumped to my feet and exclaimed that we needed to make our way back to camp or we wouldn't be able to see in the dark to find our way.
We placed the warm bundles around their mama and we took off laughing as we went, but it wasn't long before we realized we had no idea where we were. The darkened forest all the sudden looked strange. The trees towered over us and the landscape drifted off into an uneven terrain in all directions making it hard to remember the way we had come.
We each had our own thoughts of which way we should go and nobody was agreeing on the same direction. We would follow one path for a few steps and then turn our focus on another way thinking we would see something in the distance that looked familiar. Being the oldest of our brood I felt a heavy load of responsibility to get us out of this wood (but I didn't have a clue how to.) As the minutes ticked by we became more impatient and fearful. We were so turned around we couldn't even find our way back to our friend's den we had just been visiting.
I kept noticing in the distance at different points a break in the trees and light streaming in. For some reason at each break of light I became afraid that it was another mirage leading us astray. I have to say, at just about our breaking point (if you can imagine three little girls loosing it in a big darkened forest) we heard soft, distant voices calling each of our names. We recognized those voices and as they continued to call out to us we followed in that direction. The closer we got the more sunlight we could see streaming in to our darkness we were lost in, and the closer we got the more audible we could hear our names.
It is hard for me to describe to you (without tears) the relief I felt when we finally spotted Mama and Daddy standing in the clearing with the sunlight streaming in behind them. They were surely a beautiful sight. We ran to them and hugged them and walked out of those woods arm in arm, feeling forever grateful for them coming to our rescue.
It is by God's Light, which is Jesus, that we see and have abundant life. We should run to that Light with no fear of a mirage, but hold fast to His promises. He is who He says He is and any moment we spend with Him is more important than hours we might spend on our to do lists or working our jobs or finishing projects or even ministering to others.
To spend time in prayer and reading God's Word and listening for His still small voice, is the fountain of who we are and what we are able to offer to others. It is by His light that we can see our way out of the forests of life into His presence and experience His faithful love and righteousness covering us which leads us to His perfect peace.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, The wellspring of life in You by means of Your Light shines in the darkness to guide us on our way. Thank You for bearing our burdens and rescuing us from sins darkness. I will run to You every time. In Jesus' name. Amen.