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.