A few months ago, before these “uncertain and unprecedented times”, I was having breakfast with a dear friend who told me about a group of people who gathered for the purpose of discussing a chapter of the book, Between Two Trees, by Shane Wood. This chapter discussed the idea of the word, with, as it pertains to our relationship to God. What does it mean to be with God?
I have recently read this chapter of the book. The author states that, “With moves toward, alongside of, in the presence of. With invigorates and enlivens in a manner much different than near…” He also reminds us that book of Matthew begins and ends with talk of “with”.
Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”](which means “God with us”).
Matthew 28:20 “…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Surely this idea of “with” is important if the first book of the New Testament begins and ends with the idea. But from a practical perspective, what can we do to be with or move with God? For us at LSCA, right now, this has meant holding our normal camp plans with open hands and asking God how He wants to move through us and through this place. As Phase 3 of Restore Illinois starts and summer camp is still a question, our prayer has been that we see where God is moving and move “with” him.
I am a visual person. There are 2 pictures in my head regarding this: 1. Two ballroom dancers, from an old movie with Fred Astaire. There is a clear lead, but they move together, seemingly effortlessly, to wonderful music… this is moving WITH God. A beautiful picture of oneness, a clear leader and follower. The follower knows the leader and moves in step. 2. A person who has dropped an important and valuable piece of paper on a windy day… and they are racing around just trying to catch it… They are frantic and tired and have little to show for their efforts. This is not moving WITH God.
Rather than running around trying to recapture “summer camp as usual”, we are trying to be patient and let the Lord lead us.
Please pray with us as the rest of the summer unfolds, that this beautiful place will continue to be set apart for all to commune with God, that the leadership will be open to moving with God, even when that looks remarkably different than what we are used to.
Let us all learn to dance!
Kerma Yotter, Camp Manager, Lake Springfield Christian Assembly