Cabin In The Woods

Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Bids Us Shine"1 (Lyrics)

Sixty-seven years ago, I spent my last summer at Bible camp, always with the same counsellor, Christine, who wore jeans and old plaid shirts at a time when no other woman in my life did that. I trusted her enough to speak up during evening devotionals, though I was normally too shy.

By watching, I knew that her response would always be fair and kind. When I grew up, I wanted to be just like her. Most of us were from poor communities, except one from a downtown church.

While Christine was at a meeting, one of the girls told us the news that a counsellor had gone home sick, and they were going to pick one of us as her replacement. "And that will be me," she concluded. "I've already written devotionals for the week, so don't get your hopes up."

Then, Christine came back and chose me.

I looked uneasily at the other girl as I stuffed my Bible into my bag and headed out into the dark woods with the keys to Cabin 15.

The door swung open before I could unlock it, and a bunch of squealing eight-year-olds piled out like so many puppies, chattering, giggling, and hugging me.

"We were watching for you," one spoke up. I remembered her from my church. I had filled in at her Sunday School class when she was five.

"About time you got here." The camp cook, who had been watching them, came out behind them. "Good luck with this lot," she added, unsmiling. "They're all yours."

Suddenly, I saw that I would be their Christine: listening, caring, loving them, praying to do my part to help them grow up to be strong women, filled with the joy of believing.

I knew that what I did from then on needed to demonstrate the difference that God had made in my life. Talk wasn't going to cut it. Someone said, You are what you are when no one is watching. How much more, then, did I need God's strength, with these little girls taking my measure all the time!

I watched as the camp cook grumpily headed back to her room, and I prayed that I could be to their lives what Christine had been to mine.

Mark 13:37 – And what I say to you, I say to everybody: Watch (give strict attention, be cautious, active, and alert)! (AMPC)

Ephesians 6:12 – This is no weekend war that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. (MSG)

Whether we know it or not, someone is always watching how we live. We can't keep our faith unless we give it away by what we do. Are we taking every opportunity to let our lives show the happiness, joy, freedom, and hope that we find as believers?

Prayer: Dear Father God, how grateful we are that You watch over us always. Thank You for those whose lives have inspired us to draw closer to You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rose DeShaw <>
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Another great story and challenge, Rose.

    Thanks, Rose, for another encouraging devotional.

    Love this devotion. Inspiring , encouraging. Thank you.

    Thank you for another inspiring devotional Rose. God bless you!

    Amen Rose. Thanks for an encouraging word of truth today.

    Lovely writing. So visual and left a solid message to recall on as a guide. Bless you.

    Thank you, Rose, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us.

    What a beautiful story, Rose. May we all be somebody’s Christine bringing God’s children closer to him.
    God bless!

    Of course I knew this was your devotional from the very first lines. And in my eyes, you have certainly endeavoured to show what God has done in your life and we are all the richer for this.

    Good morning Rose,
    Thank you for those meaningful words about the cabin in the woods. So many good experiences you seem to have had.

    Hello Rose,
    Reading today’s edition evoked reminiscences. It also affirmed a quality of a XT follower, to witness: “I knew that what I did from then on needed to demonstrate the difference that God had made in my life.”

    Hello Rose
    Thank you for your message today. As always, you bring the Word to life with the life stories you tell.
    Stay safe. Be blessed.

    Rose, this one caught me by surprise. I don’t think I had heard this story. I liked the visual elements of the plaid flannel and the giggling eight-year olds.
    I am glad you had a Christine in your life and I am sure you lived up to her legacy.

    Rose, I would have enjoyed being at that camp with you as my Counselor.
    It was also inspiring to read Andrew’s testimony on how his mother lived her faith, making it plain and desirable to her children.
    You continue to be a blessing in my life.

    Dear Rose,
    I cannot tell you how much I love your interesting, inspiring devotionals! They are so well written, encouraging, and inspiring! I (we) are blessed to have you as a contributor. You have lived such an interesting life.
    Blessings, Joy, Laughter.

    Dear Rose thank you for another very special devotional sharing about experiences of your earlier life. You are one who definitely is a living example of the Lord’s love and care and it is so evident in your writings.
    Blessings for these beautiful and encouraging writings you provide us.

    Dear Rose,
    It is so true that someone is always watching through all stages of our maturity, while God is preparing us to share Jesus with others. And, how wonderful he places people in our lives to disciple and one-another us.
    Thank you for writing.

    What a fun story, Rose. The details differ slightly, but I was also a camper like you who evolved into a counselor. Church camp was foundational in my walk of faith, and I am forever grateful for Christian leaders who made camp possible for the many small, rural churches like ours. As for your focus in your devotional, yes, our ordinary, daily actions and life of faith do matter to others. We are an example.

    Hi Rose,
    How interesting that your devotional is posted today, just as we’re both at a camp in Manitoba, getting it ready for summer campers. We won’t be here to see all the action during the upcoming months, but your devotional hits the nail on the head as to the real reason for months of prayer and preparation.
    Thanks for your inspiring story!

    Good morning Rose,
    Great message from the “cabin in the woods”. We all need to remember “Whether we know it or not, someone is always watching how we live. We can’t keep our faith unless we give it away by what we do. Are we taking every opportunity to let our lives show the happiness, joy, freedom, and hope that we find as believers?”
    May we all be inspired by the devotionals that you write and encouraged to share our story with others along the way.
    We could guess that you were the one to be picked because of light that shines in your life. We also would have known that the campers would have been hoping it was you coming to lead them. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

    What a great story and message you have shared today, and obviously you succeeded in your new mission the Lord had prepared for you. We just don’t know what’s ahead for us, but hopefully and prayerfully we are ready. I am in my 90’s, and still wonder what He needs me to do.
    I hear too often, people much younger say they’re too old and can’t be used any more. That really disturbs my daughter I live with, and she uses me as an example as to my age, in general good health, but keep on keeping on even though I live with continuing pain.
    We always need to be available and ready to serve, and what better than to pray. I always am blessed with yours.

    Love it
    Thank you.

    Dear Rose,
    Some say it is better late than never, but we just read your devotional. We’re so glad we did not miss it as it is so very lovely.

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