J.T.: From Broken to Beautiful


Summers at camp have always been interesting to me. In the summer of 1991, God was leading me to vocational Christian ministry, and He used my time as a camp counselor to teach me and lead me where He desired. Two months after camp, I had my first church position and a new girlfriend. The church was one of the five I have now served. The girlfriend is now my wife of 20 years. Great summer! 

Fast forward to 2013. God is still using camp to teach me. I remember the verse that struck me twenty-two years ago at camp. Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” At the time, I needed the advice to be still. The first two verses of Psalm 46 speak of trusting God even though the mountains fall into the sea. Pretty tumultuous. That speaks to the circumstances that have surrounded my family lately. We have witnessed a few mountains tumbling and have had to cling to God’s ever-present help in trouble. This summer, God has been urging me to be still and hear Him in the midst of the tumult.

Days at the Light of the Village can be tumultuous. I am convinced that we have no “normal day” on Baldwin Drive! I have seen many things, often unexpected, in my time on campus. Whether it’s a news crew, a new church helping out, M-Fuge friends coming and going, or just new folks coming by to see what’s happening at LOV, there is always something new, something different, or something unexpected. I guess that’s why John always says that we need to be flexible.

That is really what God is asking us to be. He wants us to be flexible. We are to be bendable and shapeable in His hands. He is the potter; we are the clay. If we aren’t flexible, He can’t make us into what He wants us to be. Interestingly enough, when a potter has clay that has hardened or misshaped, the only choice is to break it. Then he can use the ground up mistake to recreate good moldable clay. Maybe that’s why camp was so good for me back in 1991. God took the brokenness that preceded that summer, and shaped me during that summer to make me what He wanted me to be. Perhaps that is also why God wanted me to be here in 2013. Flexibility in the midst of tumultuous times, that is what He wants for me. 

What is He asking you to do? Where are you a little too unbending to His will? Are things going too smoothly in your life? Watch out for the tumult. Know that when it comes (and it will come) He wants to be your rock when the mountains fall into the sea. Know that He wants to use your brokenness to recast you into what He desires. He desires your flexibility. He will mold you and shape you into His will. That’s where I want to be. I hope that is where you want to be as well.

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