Wednesday, March 30, 2005

God Gives You Goosebumps

So far, I have been writing about goofy things that I have witnessed or done. But, sometimes something happens that isn't necessarily funny...but it gives you unspeakable joy. Sometimes, God just shows up in an unexpected way, and all you can do is smile! Let me share with you one such incidence from a few years ago...
Summer camp is (in my opinion) one of the BEST things a Christian can experience. It is longer than a "youth rally", so everyone loosens up after a few days. On the other hand, it doesn't last so long that you are killing each other by the end!
One year at camp, I was blessed to teach a class on "Vision." I challenged the teens to pray all week, asking God to open their eyes to His will. Some of them "got it" and others ordered pizza during my class (true story!) and didn't seem to care at all.
Because of this, my expectations were not high at all when I asked the teens to share their visions at the end of the week. However, I was about to get a pleasant suprise!
One young lady named Stephanie shared that she really wanted to share the Good News with her cousin Brandon. She talked about how she was very close with her cousin, and he went to church, so she did not understand why he had not chosen to follow Christ yet. I thanked her for sharing and encouraged her and the other teens to pray about their visions...asking God to help them come true.
A few weeks later, I was attending a different camp when I heard a familiar voice calling my name. I turned around to see Stephanie, who ran up and gave me a big hug. I could tell she was excited about something.
"Franklin, guess what?!" she said. "You remember how you told us to pray that God would help us accomplish His will in our lives?"
"Well, do you remember I was telling you about my cousin, Brandon?"
"Well, since I don't really know what to say, I asked God to lead someone into Brandon's life that could tell him about Christ and encourage him to be baptized."
"Franklin...God answered my prayer! Brandon is in YOUR cabin!"
As she skipped away, I got goosebumps! God answered her prayer! After a few minutes, I felt the pressure of the situation. "God wants to use ME? What should I say to Brandon?"
I had NO idea how to bring up this subject, plus I didn't want to embarass him in front of the other boys in the cabin, so I asked God to help me. I prayed that He would give me the words.
That night, after we introduced ourselves, I told the boys in the cabin that one of them was at camp for a reason. The result was hilarious...
"Hey, is it me? What did my mom say to you?"
"Yeah, I'm here to find a woman!"
I remained vague for the rest of the week, but I added that one of them had been brought to camp by GOD. That REALLY got their attention! But, I still never found the right time or the right words.
At the end of the week, we write notes in each other's yearbooks. When I got Brandon's I simply wrote, "You're the one I was talking about. Read Acts 22:16"
A few months later, I found out the rest of the story... Brandon went on a hiking trip a few weeks after camp. As he came over a hill, he saw a crystal clear mountain lake. Overcome with God's beauty, he said, "This is it. This is where I'm going to be baptized!"
Isn't God awesome?! Not only did he answer Stephanie's prayer, but he used many people in the process.
When you start to seriously pray for something, and you ask God to help you accomplish His will, watch out!!! He may just give you goosebumps!

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