As most of you know, due to my extreme excitement and love for this place, I am a counselor at Camp Glisson this summer. We have just finished our third week of camp, and we are in the transition process from session one into session two. Going into this summer, I was excited, and still am, to be at my favorite place with my favorite people praising Jesus on the daily. Being a camp counselor at Glisson is something that I have wanted to do since I was about ten years old, if not younger, and I was amazed at the fact that I was one, old enough to be a counselor, and two, that I was actually doing it. However, this great excitement and joy I had was also accompanied by great fear. I went into the summer feeling inadequate praying “Jesus, why me? I’m your average everyday sinner that does not have it all figured out.” This fear stayed present within me from the time I was told that I got the job, all throughout staff training, and until my first camper ever walked through the door. I remember her so vividly, her cute little eight-year-old smile, the excitement and nervousness she, too had on her face. It was her first time at camp and we were going to figure this out together.
I went into the summer expecting that I would know what to expect. This is my eleventh summer at camp, after all, I should know what to expect. Well I sure was 100% wrong. Every week, every day, and every hour is different. It doesn’t matter how many summers you’ve spent there as a camper, or whether you were on crew before becoming a counselor, or whether you walked through those gates for the first time ever that first day of staff training. There is no way that anyone has any idea what they are going to expect when it comes to campers and how the week will go. However, we can expect Jesus. We can expect Him to show up even when we are least expecting him to show up. When it’s pouring rain at campout and you have just about used all your dryer lint, and you’ve been fanning that dang fire with a Frisbee for two and a half hours, and two of your sweet campers are standing in that rain holding a rain jacket over the fire, and you say to all of your campers “okay girls, we might just have warm canned chicken, carrots, potatoes, and onions instead of fully cooked and I’m so sorry but that’s just how it is because of the weather”, and they look at you and every single one of them says “It’s okay, Katelyn. Thank you for working so hard on the fire for us”, and just when you’re about to say “God where are you? My sweet campers do not deserve warm food; they deserve cooked food.” There He will be, because by God, and God alone, we all ate cooked food for dinner that night. I expected that night to be a blowout. I had this picture in my head of all thirteen of us sitting in the shelter eating chicken out of the can and biting raw potatoes as if they were apples, I am ashamed to say I didn’t expect Jesus, and there He was.
There have been about a trillion other circumstances where I wasn’t expecting anything and there He was. I see Him on the ball field when I’m kicking a soccer ball with a camper that doesn’t want to play with everyone else, and she is vulnerable with me and opens up to me about her life. I see Him in the chapel when my camper that hasn’t said a word since he got here starts singing and lifts his hands in worship. I saw Him again in the chapel when my sister walked up to me with tears in her eyes to which we then began to pray together and she accepted Jesus into her heart for the first time. I see Him in the cute little notes I get from my campers that say “You are the best counselor ever” because that is by no means me, but God. Let me get something straight, I am in no way the best counselor ever, but I’ll be real in that I do my best to show my campers patience, grace, and love that are all the closest thing to Christ-like that I know of. I do the best I can to lead them to the best counselor ever, Jesus (which is cheesier than Velveeta, I know, but that’s the best way I can explain it).
Be in the business of seed planting, friends because that is by far the most rewarding and encouraging work for the Kingdom I have ever done. And when planting those seeds, expect nothing less than Jesus because He is there even when you think He is not.