20150722_191833This is the last full day of Grand Camp and this evening is the capstone “blessing” ceremony for our grandchildren. This will be special for Riley and me, because two years ago today I was hospitalized and faced many days of uncertainty about my future. I am glad that I am alive and recovered enough to be here and to share this special opportunity with our oldest grandchild.

I am still anticipating “full recovery.” Perhaps I need to adjust the schedule to my December discharge time instead of my day of hospitalization.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. If you give up when trouble comes, it shows that you are weak.” Proverbs 24:10

I wish all the challenges in life had “storybook endings.” You don’t always get the key hit to win a game in the bottom of the last inning. Unfortunately “living happily ever after” isn’t usually what comes “after.”  Life has its challenges, its twist and turns. The source of those challenges can vary. It can be “just life,” it can be the result of the decisions and choices we make; there are hardships that come from the enemy of our souls.

The only failure in the face of the challenges of life is “giving up.” Solomon understood this thousands of years ago and it is still true today. Confronting difficulties doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. Failing doesn’t mean you are a failure.

Later in Proverbs 24 we read, Even though good people may be bothered by trouble seven times, they are never defeated…” (Proverbs 24:16) Why is this? Because they never “give up” and because they know the source of their strength.

The theme at Grand Camp today was, “Whatever comes each day, Christ gives me strength in every way.” Our daily scripture was, “I can do all things through [Christ] who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) What I like about that verse is the context reveals Paul’s life of hardship and his life of blessing. As Paul shared about the key to having strength for life, he says, “I have learned the secret of contentment….”

When life is “good” and going like we would hope, we don’t lose our focus, or take it for granted. When life is filled with challenges and things like a prolonged recovery test patience and resolve, we (I) do what we (I) can, what we (I) need to do, through the strength the Lord provides.

At all times and in all circumstances, The Lord is great; he should be praisedGod is our God forever and ever. He will guide us from now on.” (Psalm 48:1,14)