Hartland Day 2 – This is Forever Family

October 2, 2018

We’re eating lunch when Chad walks in and the whole dining room is in uproar for his return. (Chad was returning from a long weekend home.) His guys rallied around with the cheesiest boy smiles of life, hugging, laughing and immediately picking up where they left off. I scanned the room to soak in every bit of joy radiating off of my classmates. Today it hit me. This is forever family. 

Service is the overarching theme of the week as we are assigned to various tasks throughout Hartland Christian Camp. We are in the trenches. For some of us, including myself, that’s literally digging trenches. The trench for the rest of the group looks different but the dirt is all the same. I found this to be such an illustration of what this year will hold. Before we began, we had to prepare the area we would be digging in. While we shoveled, we reached various roots, each of which we had to decide whether it was best to prune away or preserve. Some of us got so dirty pigs would want nothing to do with us if they lived up here. 

I think of the parable of the two men who prayed for rain. One of these men went out and prepared his fields for rain trusting The Lord would provide according to His will. The other man prayed and took no action. God honored the man who showed unwavering faith and provided rain for him. I see each of my Joshua brothers and sisters out preparing for some rain. This year the Lord will bring us to recognize and break off our own roots or habits not producing fruit in our lives. This year we will not be called to areas of comfort. This year may be dirty. Each of us has our own pile of muck we have to sort through. My favorite thing about my classmates so far is watching the way they love one another and rally around, like they did with Chad. They meet each other in the trenches. 

In the past few weeks I have become more myself than ever before. I know my God more than ever before. I laugh harder and love stronger. I’ve emptied out the bottle of the things I stuffed down and laid them at the foot of the cross. My God doesn’t choose to pick those things up, so I have learned I don’t get to either. I have firm confidence in my beliefs. I know who and what I will allow into my influence. I recognize the areas in my life which need growth and the pieces of my heart that are being stretched. Words, phrases and ideas echoed in the church have been revived with understanding and relevant meaning. It’s been 4 weeks. On behalf of my class, this is what God is doing with 4 weeks. Here’s to the next 45. 

Our God is good and these brothers and sisters are my favorite. 

Written by Maddie

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