I am finally back in North Carolina after spending three months at the Woods family camp in Texas. Although it was my third summer working for Pine Cove, my job looked very different this year. I spent a lot more time in an office and a lot less time with campers, but I really enjoyed the position. I did miss interacting with kids, but I was able to use my specific skill set.
From January to April, I was a student teacher at a local elementary school.
In my last month of student teaching, I made a list of the many reasons that I was eager to finish:
- I will have time to blog again.
- I will have time for photography again.
- I will have time to run again.
- I will have time to bake again.
- I will have more time. Period.
Perhaps you have seen the charts that look like this:
When I visited a college for the first time in November of 2012, one of my dorm hosts showed me this chart. Five years later, I can attest that it is accurate.
My middle name is Joye. It’s pronounced “Joy,” like “Joy to the World” or “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart” or “joy unspeakable that won’t go away.” There’s just an E on the end because I am unique.
I guess everyone wants to be happy, buy I’ve always had a particular desire to live up to my middle name. I want to overflow with joy. I want everyone around me to know that the joy of the Lord is my strength. But I often fall short of this goal.
This is never a fun thing to say, but I have to say it.
I was wrong.
In February 2015, I wrote a post called Pray without Ceasing? in which I questioned necessity of praying over and over for the exact same thing. In this post, I said that after hours of searching, “I found only one valid example [in the Bible] of a person praying multiple times for the exact same thing.”
And I left it at that. For two years, the content of this post was in the back of my mind, but I never found an example (other than Paul) of someone who repeatedly came to God about the same issue.
A few days ago, I read Luke 18 which tells the story of a begging widow and an evil judge. The judge had no concern for the widow’s wellbeing; he “neither feared God nor cared what people thought” (verse 2). Because the widow was desperate for justice, she came to the judge regularly to plead her case.
She came regularly. The exact translation says, “she kept coming to him.” She didn’t make one earnest plea. She didn’t hang her head and walk away. She came, and when he denied her, she came again. She kept coming.
After some time, the judge thought to himself, “Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, I will see that the widow gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!”
Jesus explained the parable this way in verses 6b-8a:
Listen to what the unfair judge said. God will always give what is right to his people who cry to him night and day, and he will not be slow to answer them. I tell you, God will help his people quickly.
If an evil judge is willing to help a poor widow, surely our compassionate Father will help His children. This parable shows we can keep coming before the throne of God. We can keep asking over and over again.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
I have tried 1,000 times to write a blog post this summer, but I have yet to do more than open a blank draft. Anything you have read in the past two months was scheduled content, and I can’t pinpoint the exact reason for my absence on this blog .
Yes, I work at camp 6 days a week, but I could easily find the time to type a few lines. It is not for lack of content; I have taken photos, created videos, and written articles for camp all summer. Spiritual dryness is not the reason either; God’s Word has become more and more precious to me every day for the past two months. Perhaps my only excuse is that I haven’t really wanted to blog. I have enjoyed the time away from personal social media (although I am on social media every day for my job).
So here I am, simply to …
- check in.
- let all of you know that I am still alive.
- share some images from the summer.
- promise that the absence won’t last forever.
I just need one more month at camp before I fully re-emerge to the outside world.
Want to know what I ate on my fifth birthday?