Lent: Day Nine

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. -James 1:2-3

Two and a half years ago I had the privilege to work my first summer as a counselor in Southwestern Wisconsin. I was hired as a Day Camp Counselor and my job included going out into the various communities of Wisconsin and bringing camp to them! The first week of camp I was counseling in Ettrick, Wisconsin and was blessed to work with a 3rd grader named “Raelynn”.

Raelynn was the most kind, loving, smiley little girl you’d ever meet. Her smile was infectious, and it radiated every room that she was in. She was full of life and eager to love those around her, and she did it well. Have you ever experienced a young person that will not leave your side no matter where you go? That was Raelynn and my relationship that week – a friendship that was sparked by our faith in Jesus. In the middle of the week, Raelynn and I had a conversation while we sat and watched the other kids play a game. We talked about her sister, life, and her illness that I had not yet known about. Cancer. I began to wonder, “How is this little girl so joyful while dealing with something so traumatic?” and “Where is her joy coming from amid this devastating illness?”

Raelynn had a faith in Jesus that was overwhelmingly filled with hope. She knew her situation was tough, but she also knew that there was something greater in store for her life. Raelynn understood that her illness, though scary, is from this earth. That there is a Savior whose name is Jesus who is far greater and far richer than anything we could ever comprehend. Let’s be encouraged by Raelynn’s hope filled faith and find JOY in Jesus knowing that whatever we are going through at this present time will not last forever. That there is something greater in store and his name is Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, we thank you for using the trials in our lives to draw us closer to you and we ask that you continue to shine through us in those times. We pray for a joyful spirit even amid trial and tribulation and for our lives to reflect your heart. Thank you, Jesus – Amen.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28