This is another Daniel Day. (Click the picture above to see what the Safari is all about.)
This week we are exploring remembrance to conquer obliviousness. You know that enemy obliviousness. That’s when walking through a dark trial, instead of feeling hopeful and positive about the outcome, overwhelmed and sadness become constant companions. Wallowing in despair is so wrong because we know that “all things work together for good for those who love God and live according to his purposes.” (Romans 8:28) Feeling hopeless is sinful because Jesus Christ is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1) and he is a living hope! (1 Peter 1:3)
One of our writing prompts this week is to show how God’s past deliverance in our life produce present endurance in times of need. Hasn’t anybody read this blog lately? Seriously though, today, I will tell you of a yet another time in my life that has so readily prepared me to walk cancer road with hope, peace and joy today.
When I was in college, I worked with a youth minister for a few summers. I was the only girl intern. Learning to live in ministry work with a bunch of guys was tough and fun and rewarding.
We took lots of trips. Summer camp is my favorite. I think going there each summer and watching teenagers give their lives to Christ, hearing a call on their lives and realizing that their problems don’t even compare to the glory of Christ was life changing for me. I think summer camp is why I love ladies’ retreats so much. Ladies’ retreats are like summer youth camp on steroids. God is evident everywhere at them. All weekend. Awesome!
One of the trips this youth group took each summer was a survival trip in the wilderness in the Durango Mountains of Colorado. This trip was hard core. The kids that went had to walk on a treadmill with a backpack containing a ten pound weight on their backs for 30 minutes outside in the smothering Texas summer heat to qualify to go. Hard. Core.
The first year I went it was fun and awesome and beautiful. My biggest problem was that my sleeping bag wasn’t properly insulated and my hiking boots weren’t water proofed so I was freezing all week long. Fruh-eeezing. Totally.
The next year I wanted to make sure I had all the comforts of home. I bought the right kind of hiking shoes. I rented an insulated thermal sleeping bag. I was packing and thinking smart. My objective? I would. Not. Be. Cold.
We started up the mountain on day one. We were supposed to reach our destination in about four hours. We sent our food, water, tents and supplies ahead of us in a pack with a tour guide. We soon lost sight of our pack.
After about ten hours of hiking with no food left and no water purifying tablets left, I began to feel a little queasy. I reasoned it was altitude sickness and would soon pass when I got dinner. About thirty minutes later, I started vomiting.
And I would take two steps and throw up. I did this over and over and over again. The biggest joke of the trip was making bets on what color my throw up would be the next time. Seriously.
Night began to fall. We had no food and by this time we were drinking fresh mountain spring water and praying we wouldn’t get sick. We slept in a circle around a campfire. The men in our group took turns watching and praying.
At this point, I was so sick I was wishing to die.
We slept little, ate nothing and got up at daybreak to find our campsite. We walked all.day.long. Again. I was still sick. Very.sick.
By the end of day two, I was really wanting to die. As the men sat and prayed on the second night, I laid in my sleeping bag. Silent tears fell down my face. I was praying that God would let me die soon to end the terrible misery of this trip. The tears fell as I imagined all the things I had yet to experience like getting married, having babies and figuring out my calling in life.
I heard the men praying for our safety. I heard the men talking about how they would get me down the mountain should something serious happen to me. In that instant, God spoke.
I just knew that I knew that I knew I wasn’t going to die. I knew God was saying it wasn’t my time.
I wanted to sit up in my sleeping bag and beg these people not to mourn for me, to stop praying for me and pray for the teens that had yet to trust Christ and pray for our rescue, because I knew that I was going to be okay.
The night I got my diagnosis, I lay in bed silent tears falling down my cheeks. I prayed God would let me live. And I had that same feeling I had years ago when I asked to die. I know it’s not my time to go. I believe with all my heart I will live.
And it’s in these moments I’m reminded that my sickly past has prepared me for my healthy future.
I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 The Message