When the van won't start...

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"Be still and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10)

A word from the Word: Read Psalm 46 and Mark 4:35-41
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1)

The holidays and a busy travel schedule has kept me on the go. I am slowing down a bit, at least for a short time, so I wanted to resume our time together in God's Word. I hope your holidays were great and that your New Year has gotten off to a good start.

This weekend, our youth group and I am some amazing chaperones went to Arlington, Texas for a big youth rally. I love Winterfest and this year I believe was my 7th or 8th year of going as a sponsor or as a group leader. The kids that have gone before have been my biggest advertisement, and so we had quite a few new faces and the same could be said for my adults who give up their weekend to go with us.

Everyone began arriving at church on Friday afternoon, bags were packed, sandwiches were made, the trailer was hooked up, the vans had gas, we circled in prayer, and then Satan began to attempt to unravel our weekend before it really began. One of our vans wouldn't turn over. I had just taken it moments before to the gas station, and now it wouldn't start. We were able to swap out vans, and then when we stopped to eat our early dinner, we somehow forgot to pack half of our sandwiches. It's gets better, when we finally arrive at the convention center, we were actually 20 minutes early, all the kids and sponsors went to the first evening session and I went to get our hotel rooms. I didn't have enough credit on my church card to cover all ten of our rooms. Thankfully, I had another card.

After the evening activites were done, we all were going to go back to our suite for a devotional and some instructions in the morning. As I was preparing to order for pizza for some starving kids, a sponsor had called me and reported she and her girls were harassed by one of the hotel's security guards.

After putting out some small fires, I arrived in our devotional room 30 minutes late, and was greeted by one young high schooler, who was hungry and tired and asked for food. I was ready to pull my hair out, I guess his request was the straw that broke the camels back.

I write all of that to remind you what I was reminded of again...

God is in control. His plans are always best, and no matter what we experience our troubles are light and momentary. This weekend turned out to be one of the best weekends at Winterfest I have ever been a part of. The times of worship were great, the responses of the kids in our group who were moved by the Spirit to either accept Jesus or renew their faith was great.

I was reminded that Jesus turns messes into beautiful works of art. When things don't go the way we plan or intend for them to go, we shouldn't lose sleep over those things. I was forced to grapple with whether or not I would trust that God would take care of things or not. He always takes care of things.

I share this incident from our past weekend, because I know you have dealt with similar moments. When the car breaks down, or the unexpected bill comes that you can't pay. We all have those moments when we feel like we are on a storm tossed sea and our Jesus is asleep in the stern. We stress out over the waves and the force of the wind. But we forget that we aren't traveling alone. Jesus Christ not only goes with us, He speaks peace over our lives when we aren't able to handle what comes are way.

So, if you had a weekend like mine. Spend some time today, reading Mark 4 and Psalm 46 and be reminded of who is in charge. Life runs smoother when we let God run things. Amen.

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