Saturday, July 12, 2008

Two Small Coins

Every time I've set foot on this rock
You've reminded me that I am not alone
That I will never be alone

(Brandon Heath)

Two weeks ago I went to a Young Life camp in Canada called Malibu Club. It is my favorite place in the world. Though I'm not very well-traveled, I am fairly certain that I could visit every country in the world... and come back saying that Malibu is still my favorite place to be. It's not just the beauty of the place, it is what God has done in my life on that little piece of rock that juts out into the Princess Luisa inlet.

On this last trip to Malibu I got to lead a cabin of 11 girls from 4 different high schools, and I also brought along Nate, Dexter, and Katie (our babysitter). I could spend several hours and thousands of words writing about all the stories, laughs, challenges, struggles, and victories of the week... but I think I'll just talk about one word that keeps coming back to me when I think back on the trip: Redemption.

If there is one thing I learned during and since that week, it is that our God redeems. Like the widow in the temple, I gave Him two small, nearly worthless coins, and He made them into something beautiful and eternally valuable.

I offered the time I had to give, though due to prior commitments I had to go to camp a day later than the rest of the group.
I thought it was silly to go through so much hassle to travel separately and get up there after everyone else.
God redeemed when it turned out three campers had to come up a day late as well, so I was able to travel with them.

I brought
my two small children along.
I thought the kids might be in the way, that they would be a distraction or take away from what was supposed to be happening.
God redeemed when a camper stood up on the last night to share that he had grown up without a father figure, but that as he watched Dr. Bob play with his grandchildren (my kids) in the pool this week he was able to see what God's fatherly love looks like.

I gave each girl half an hour of my time on the last day of camp to talk over what they'd been hearing at Club throughout the week.
I thought they don't get it, they're not ready, this isn't sinking in.
God redeemed as one by one, each girl told me they wanted to begin or renew a relationship with Jesus. Later that night they stood up in front of their peers to profess their new faith.
God redeems still as these girls call me for coffee dates, hungry to talk about what this new life means and how to live it out each day.

It doesn't matter how little or how much I have to give... just that I give it with a joyful and grateful heart, knowing that our all-powerful God can use it for His glory.