Hey to everyone, especially all you from Area One camp this week. Thanks for spending a great week at the beach with me. Well, I wasn’t at the beach, too busy getting my talks together. You know, that’s kind of sad.
I’ve spent two weeks at beach camp this summer and literally did not touch the beach at all. Anyway, it was a great week. I’m going to fill everyone else in on what we talked about this morning, so you campers can skip ahead a little bit if you want to.
The theme of camp this week was Unstoppable. We spent the week digging into the life of Paul (Acts) and its reflection in his theology (Romans, mostly). So this morning was the big last talk of camp session which we usually turn into a big pep rally to go change the world. But this time we took a different approach to it. We looked at Paul’s shipwreck. He was already the powerful man of God changing the world, but it did not put him above pain and struggle in this life. We talked about how being unstoppable doesn’t mean you never get hurt or you never fail, it just means you trust God and get up and keep going. God can forgive our failures and heal our hurts. But they are going to come. Especially when you have really tuned in to God this week at camp. The assault is going to come. Maybe on the ride home. Maybe when you get home. Maybe next week. But to quote one of my faves, “there’s bound to come some trouble in your life.”
So today I left camp definitely on a high, excited about what God had done this week. I immediately got stuck behind slow 2-lane S. Alabama traffic. Then a log truck attempted a 37 point turn in the middle of the highway. That took about half an hour. Then I hit some kind of traffic in Montgomery. Then again south of Alabama. So I get to the airport with maybe 30 minutes before my flight. The 5 hour drive took 6.5 hours. Then I turn in my rental car and they think they need to check something out. So they won’t check me in. Finally after I filled them in on my time constraint they let me go now with less than 20 minutes to go. I run up to the counter, and of course it’s too close to use the kiosk. And everyone else is busy. One lady was refilling the little folders you put your ticket in. Apparently that was urgent. So someone let’s me tell them what I need and they say it’s too late. They finally start helping me after my plane has taken off. So they get me on the next plane to Atlanta, but I will miss my connection to Albuquerque. And that’s the last flight today. The first flight out of Atlanta is tomorrow at 11. So I’m going to miss the first session of camp. But we’ll figure it out. Of course all the guys are flying in tonight and I have the only keys to the van which is sitting in the ABQ airport parking lot. But I figure, well, I’ll stay in Birmingham tonight with good friends and start in the morning. But she says no, I have to get on the next flight to ATL tonight. So I flew to ATL. But she couldn’t check my bags all the way through. So they charged me $25 for my first bag, and $15 for my second or vice versa. And now I have to check them again tomorrow and pay them another $40. So I finally get to Atlanta and reserve a hotel room online. I wait an hour for the hotel shuttle and finally call the hotel. So they don’t have a reservation for me. Or a shuttle. Despite what it says online. So apparently there’s a conference here or something because everything is booked. I finally find a room. And a shuttle. And get to the hotel 2.5 hours after I landed. And I haven’t had dinner.
Talk about a shipwreck. And I wonder how Paul would have handled it. He reassured the centurion on the boat. He comforted his captor. He had utmost confidence in his God. He knew exactly what was going on.
Unfortunately I don’t. I’m tired. I preached all week. It was my second week of camp in a row and I’m headed to another. All the deadlines for the record are right now. So much is going on, and you have a day like this. Accident? I doubt it. We even talked about it this morning. But how will I respond? Can I trust God to work good out of all this? What good could possibly come out of all this? Can I somehow get to camp with something to give? Can I be the husband, father, friend, artist, worship leader, customer that people need me to be? That God needs me to be.
Only by grace. Only by faith, completely leaning on and depending upon God. So, Romans. This grace by which I stand. And I rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Really? No, not completely. I believe, help me in my unbelief. I rejoice, help me in my lack of joy.
9 thoughts on “Shipwreck”
I not much of a write but everyday we need to have OurSavior walk with us and help us through each day. I am so sorry you had such bad luck. But just think you have a message about how you like Paul waited and God be in control of your day.
I can totally relate to such unexpected situation’s. Within the last month my husband got laid off, my son was in a motorcycle accident by hitting a deer, I accidently ran over my son’s dog( just his paw). I started a different position in my job that is requring me to work 10 hr day’s. There is alot more but I think you get the gest. Anyway, I praise God though he is ALWAY’S there when I need him. My husband was able to get another job. My son did not break anything just has a swollen knee. The dog is fine. I am so thankful that I have a job. I always try to look at situation’s as though it could be worse and knowing that God is with me help’s !! Paul is one of the first people I want to meet when I go to heaven as I admired him so!
Hey my brother, I’m not at all surprised at the circumstances which “shipwrecked” your plans. When God allows you to teach others, you often then become the student, living out the very things you taught. It’s funny how trials and struggle are the very things that strengthen your faith and deepen your joy–of course, not when you’re right in the middle of the frey, but when you look back and see how God was at work. Makes me think of the circles on a cross-section of a redwood tree. Each one represents a season of life, a struggle, a joy; and in the passing of time the tree grows stronger and taller, evidenced by the number of circles when it is cut down. I love the way James describes it: “The testing of your faith produces steadfastness . . . we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” (James 1:2-4; 5:10-11 ESV) Be blessed, dear brother, when you finally see the purpose of the Lord.
Thanks for sharing that, Todd.
“I believe, help me in my unbelief. I rejoice, help me in my lack of joy.”
You hit the nail perfectly.
I was a chaperone at the FLIP camp 3 weeks ago and was so blessed by your worship and David Platt’s messages. So here I am preparing to teach Sunday School tomorrow and we are in Isaiah 6 which of course brought me right to your song. I came to your website looking for a video of this song and read your harrowing ordeal from yesterday and just wanted to say God bless you in all that you do. The struggles and sacrifices that you make in His name are so worth it. To see the difference in what the Lord has done in my life and especially my 16 yr old son through the Lord working through you and David are just two of many testimonies of what He can do when we allow Him to work through us. Thank you for heading His call.
Just wanted to let you know that camp was awesome this week. The kids in our youth group talked about what God had done all the way back to Kentucky. They really want to be “Unstoppable”. Thanks for your music, your willingness to preach the Word, and for the sacrifice of your time away from family. God is using you to make a difference in the lives of others. I look forward to the next time our paths cross. (Maybe at Cici’s again) Until then I will lift you up in prayer. God Bless.
God is using you in a powerful way, and Satan wants it to stop. Sorry you’re having to go through such struggles, but like you said, it’s not unexpected. Press on! Praying for the seeds that were planted last week in camp fell on fertile soil, that Satan will not be allowed to snatch them away, that distractions will not choke them out, but that God will water them and they’ll grow into the crop He desires.
I think we all can identify with the kind of week you had to some degree of another,,,,I do agree that the circumsta
nces are not nearly as important as our reaction to them and how it seems easier after the fog has cleared so to speak to realize how we should respond. I had a situation arise this week in my own life that turned out better than i had dared to hope for and afterwards someone said Isnt God good? I responded then that yes he was and would still have been even if things didnt turn out so well…i realized then i had forgotten that fact, it is so reassuring to me that others struggle sometimes with their faith and yet God is Still full of grace and forgiveness even in our lack of Faith….thank you for sharing your struggles with us, so we too may be strenghthened…..I knoe God is blessing you…hope this week teaches you another great truth to share with us!
Other than your story kinda sounded like it was out of a Stephanie Plum novel, it seems pretty obvious you got to live that frustrating adventure because it played right into the theme you were teaching. Maybe you might be happy it wasn’t Jonah and the whale, or Job: I’ve heard you say Job scares you a little. Yeah, when you consider, I’m thinkin’ a simple shipwreck theme isn’t such a bad thing.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get all stressed out when I am having one of those days; but in the end, it usually works out, and if one is a teacher and storyteller, we have to get our material from somewhere, right?!
BTW, stressed is desserts backwards. Whenever I’m stressed, I start asking what fruit (dessert) will it yield? It is making me a better student. Maybe.
Thanks for sharing your story. I, for one, needed to hear it today.