The cabin was a cozy fit for all eighteen of us plus four adults, but we made it work. It was nestled in a kind of clearing in a forest and during the day the younger kids would explore, running past the fire pit and into the parts of the woods where the trees grew taller and closer together. The mornings were crisp, the first time we left the lodge each day we could look up through the trees and see the grayish autumn sky, bordered by leaves in a myriad of reds, oranges and browns. I took my coffee out there the first morning and the chilly air woke me up almost as much as my steaming mug did.
We only stayed two nights because we all had our own lives to get back to; school and work and paper rounds and babysitting and other friend groups and our families and pets. But those short 48 hours were enough to remind me I adore spending time with those people. We cooked our meals together then yelled our favorite songs at the top of our lungs as the boys washed dishes and the girls dried. We went swimming and played basketball and card games. In the evenings we worshiped and prayed together and then we built fires and toasted marshmallows. The whole trip was characterized by high energy levels and side stitching laughs and hugs and jokes and snacks and a lot of coffee.
And sometimes, if I wasn’t too busy getting caught up in the blur of it all I would take a step backwards and look around me. I would catch glimpses of the beautiful faces of my most special people, only half lit up in the flickering bonfire light and smile because I’m so happy I get to be friends with them. I would look around me on the basketball court as everyone raced to one end and then the other and I would be filled with so much joy to see everyone so completely in their element. And then I would join in the game, pass the ball, cheer on my friends and feel overwhelmed with gratitude that I can be so completely myself with these people.
It was moments like these that Jesus’ faithfulness to me became so blatantly apparent that it as good as knocked the breath out of me. I prayed for the longest time for these people, and what I have now is more than I ever expected. He is so good and so faithful!
The trip is over now and we’ve all gone back to school and work and paper rounds and babysitting and other friend groups and our families and pets. But the one thing that still sticks out to me like the sorest of thumbs from the weekend is how the evidence of Jesus’ faithfulness to me is sometimes so painfully obvious, if only I’d take a step back and acknowledge it. Like, He does NOT make it hard for me to point out the ways in which He is oh so good to me, yet all too easily, in my unbelief and in my self absorbed nature, I miss all the evidence of His grace.
So that is what I am going to start doing more. I’m going to step back and look at the evidence of his goodness and faithfulness all around me, because there sure is a ton of it!