Family camp and youth camp were such fun, refreshing times. Fellowshiping and worshiping with the body of Christ... lots of volleyball... I'm definitely a liability, not an asset, when it comes to sports, but there were plenty of other things to do. :P Such beautiful weather God gave us! Only Sunday was a bit rainy, but I found reason to be thankful for all the rain we've had this summer, because the fire risk is low and campfires were allowed this year! Oh how He blessed my heart that weekend... through the created beauty of His majesty revealed, the opportunities to encourage and be encouraged. Three days after family camp ended, youth camp began.
Truly, we are loved. Lavished.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ... In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us." (Ephesians 1:3-8, select verses)
Wow. He was thinking of love from the beginning of eternity, thinking of us, of me... His blood was shed, freely given in the One he loves... oh what riches! "Lavished." A perfect word. Oh, but wait until you read these next verses, in Ephesians 1:18-20,
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms."
Unimaginable. Truly. I'm humbled by the greatness of that power, the riches that are extended to one so poor as I. Each night after campfire as I walked up to the washroom to brush my teeth before bed, I would stop in the quiet darkness to look up and worship. What a Creator we serve! Each point of light, far above me in the heavens, crying forth the glory of God... like pinpricks to my eyes, but in reality larger than my mind could fathom.
Oh how gracious our God is! Not only did He speak to my heart and strengthen my spirit, He further answered my prayers and brought another soul into His kingdom that weekend. Oh how precious salvation is... I was truly overwhelmed with it... with the enormity of it, the praise of such a gracious redemption. My heart did not cease to sing those lines from Amazing Grace,
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believ'd!
Perhaps it sometimes grows less precious to us due to time, but oh how we need to remember the wonder, the freshness of that first hour... the wonder of new birth - a new creation! Surely that is not something commonplace. When I sing of it, when I read of it in His word, may it not be merely words, but an expression of the wonder and glory of this great redemption. Undeserving, lost, His enemy, but given all things in Christ, our Saviour.
Truly, we are loved. Lavished.