Things have been so crazy around Skipstone the last few days that I haven't been in my office very much, even to catch up on my blogging. If you are a friend of mine on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter, you probably know that some very exciting things have happened this week.
As I mentioned in a recent post, the last several weeks have been a very challenging time for me. In fact, I've described them as some of the most difficult days I've experienced in more than 22 years of ministry. Without going through the details again, let's just say that our current course has taken through some pretty intense storms lately.
At the end of last week, I began to sense that God was speaking a word of peace to my heart through a friend in Tennessee who also operates a Christian camp. I discovered that many of the challenges that have overwhelmed me at times are not unique to me. In fact my friend's storms were far greater and far more intense than mine in many ways.
Last Friday, as we were trying to make a decision about whether or not we could follow through with our planned teacher retreat (from a budgetary standpoint), my camp friend called me and said that God had given him a word that we should should bring our teachers regardless of any budget concerns. He went on to say that although their financial situation was far from perfect, they felt compelled that God would provide the financial resources for our retreat, even if it wasn't through us. I was stunned by his generosity and challenged by his step of faith.
One of the things my friend said to me was that when he was facing some of the challenges, decisions, and concerns that I have been facing, his wife shared with him a promise that God put on her heart one in the middle of a "stormy" night. She said "God has written on the wall of my heart that one day the seas will part and we will walk across on dry land". My friends did eventually get through that storm and "walk through on dry land" just as God had promised. To this day, there is a sticky note in his bathroom vanity with that promise written on it. It serves as a reminder to him of what God did, and what God can do if we will just trust and obey.
While we were retreating with our teachers on Sunday - Tuesday, I began to see and understand what the "parting of the seas" might look like. I know it sounds silly, but one of the "monkeys on my back" was the launch of our football program for the Academy this year. We were facing a deadline on Monday that brought the real possibility that we wouldn't be playing this year. Many of our players had not been able to raise their money in time to purchase equipment, and we did not have the financial resources to cover the difference. We were at familiar place.... if God didn't show up, the game just might be over!
You probably guessed that He did show up. I won't go in to all of the details, but God miraculously provided enough equipment for us to outfit our players, and to bless some other schools that were also in need. This was a miracle for our players, but it was also the beginning of the "parting of the waters" for me!
Later that same day, as Shondi and I were talking about how God was at work, Shondi received a phone call from an anonymous donor, who had heard about some of the capital needs that Skipstone had and felt compelled to make an unbelievably generous gift. We were asked not to share the details, but it will suffice to say that we will be able to complete a LOT of the required code and insurance upgrades, as well as some of our most critical capital improvements at Skipstone.
Although I'm told that I have a way with words, I can't even begin to describe what that "parting of the waters" felt like on Monday. Shock? Disbelief? Astonishment? Wonderment? Humbleness? I don't what to say about it other than "wow God!".
Since Monday, I've had several people drop by whose course has them right smack in the middle of some ferocious storms. They feel hopeless, abandoned, and afraid. I had the awesome privilege to share a great word with them...."soon the waters will part and you will walk through on dry ground!"..... I've seen it happen and I know it's true!
Whatever It Takes,