The kids were at summer camp last week. Outside in the blazing sun all day. With a heat index of 110. Sweating on top of nylon sleeping bags in screened-in "cabins" at night.
I prayed that they would have a safe, amazing, louse-free week and they did.
I figured Jake would enjoy it, because it's his 3rd year. He loves camp and says he feels closer to God there.
But if you remember Molly's... er... bumpy re-entry earlier this summer when she returned from a week with her cousins, you'll know that I was braced for a very tired girl with Linda-Blair-like tendencies. I wanted to tread lightly in case the whole summer camp thing was just too, too much.
Imagine our surprise and relief when, as soon as they got home, she and Jake were already talking about what they wanted to do at camp next summer. And dinner started with an unusual request from Molly, to lead the blessing of our meal. We held hands, and instead of moaning and munching through "God is great; God is good," Molly prayed a short, sincere prayer from the heart. Wow.
This morning she was up reading her Bible and highlighting passages that stood out to her.
Here's the thing: I don't think you are a "good Christian" for reading your Bible and a "bad Christian" for not. Truth be told, much of the time my Bible serves more as a bedside coaster than a life-line for me. Does that mean God loves me less? Absolutely not. I do know the life-giving, powerful words the Bible contains, but more often than not, I seek a million other forms of solace and counsel before turning to it.
So you can imagine how touched I was when she, of her own volition, started searching for key passages to guide her through life.
She said as she did this, the words "Isaiah 43" came to her. Now you know as well as I that Isaiah 43 could have ended up saying something about 2 donkeys costing x number of shekels, or something like that, but it didn't.
Here are the verses she felt guided to in Isaiah 43. For Molly, for me, and maybe for you:
"But now, this is what the Lord says-- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
And you know what she said after sharing this with me? "Mom, I'm so glad God led me to those encouraging verses, but it makes me nervous because I wonder if that means I'm going to go through a lot of hardship in life and REALLY need them to lean on."
I hear you, daughter, and I understand. You are your mom's little girl, all right.