It’s no coincidence that our DNOW material this year is a discussion on spiritual warfare, the wiles of the devil, and the victory of Christ, because our weekend in the Jim Ned Valley was filled to the brim of all three. The Jim Ned DNOW is huge (if I remember correctly, we had over 200 students in attendance), so we recruited a lot of help (which is another tale of God’s providence altogether). It was an eventful weekend, and I should start at the beginning: we were three hours late. One thing after another, first getting a trailer hitch on, then fixing the tail-lights on the trailer, and then (of course) our bus breaking down before we could even get out of Grand Prairie, kept us from getting there when we expected. It felt like we were in a maze of mishaps, and there was no way out.
But we made it out. Out of the frying pan, and into the fire. Not only were we three hours late, but we were without Henry, our director, and without Bobby, our assistant director, due to circumstances we already anticipated. What we didn’t anticipate was our severely limited time to soundcheck, and that our speakers wouldn’t work properly. Basically, Murphy’s law was being seen in action, and the Enemy was throwing at us everything he had. But God gave us a great grace, and we were able to solve those problems and soundcheck before it was time to start (right on schedule!). Except that wasn’t the end of our troubles.
After the Friday night service, all the students and volunteers were scrambling to grab their luggage and get to their host homes. But there had been changes in host homes and groups, and it seemed like nobody really knew what was happening. In the midst of trying to find missing leaders and round up my students, one of our GH leaders came under very intense pain and had to be taken to the hospital. Seriously?? Again, it felt like it was never going to end.
But God is good, and God is God. We had prepared for a big weekend with many challenges, but I doubt any of us saw it coming like this. But God did. God worked in so many great ways, and we all learned so much that weekend, whether it was how to stop trying to solve issues with human hands, and pray to God, or if we needed to learn that giving grace is a grace on yourself, or even if it was to remember the greatest lesson: God has won! We may have seen many issues, but we also saw many students come to a saving faith in Christ. And I now believe that all those troubles were worth it, even if only one person had come to Christ.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
– Genesis 50:20