How thankful I am that I received that challenge at camp to live for Christ because He died for me. It was so obvious to me. Of course I would make such a commitment. So did several of my friends.
Fast forward a couple of years. Tenth grade. A group of those same friends was at a girl's house one night. I guess I found out about it by calling around to see what was going on. That didn't occur to me until later. After I had been there for awhile. Some people were hanging around in the kitchen. Some downstairs. I was in the kitchen. I have no idea for how long. What I do remember is that I realized the others were taking turns. Hanging out with me. In the kitchen. They were starting to smell funny when they came up. Yeah.
Somehow they knew better. Somehow they knew I would not be going along with this plan. I told them they were crazy. I told them they were about to waste their lives. I went home and told my mom and cried. And started looking for some new friends.
Maybe you have been there. In the kitchen. Or downstairs. Understand this: I wasn't speaking in judgement on them. They all had burdens in their lives like I did. It's just that I loved them. And I knew the peace of letting God carry my burdens. How I wished they did too.
I'm thankful because when I told God I intended to live for Him, I knew that it was for life. It wasn't that I hadn't known and loved and believed in Him before. But somebody took the time to issue the challenge to make a commitment to the relationship. A commitment that would give me the courage as a teenager to walk away from friends who were headed the wrong direction. Had it not been for the commitment, I might have been downstairs. Praise God, I was not.
Jesus said, "Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-29