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The End of the World

We were studying about the last Days…raging fires, shivering mountains, approaching soldiers, and fearful saints. We charted the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Time of Jacob’s Little Trouble, the results of religious persecution, and God’s Promise of Deliverance.

Our group was diverse, a Summer Camp staffed with essential skills packaged in a crazy crowd of personalities. Chief “Runamuck” lit the tipi fires, “Mare” ran the horses, John milked the rattlesnakes, and John Wycliff burned at the stake every Friday night. We worked hard, caring for 100+ kids each week. Then the scheduling gods gave us a week off to clean the pool and recuperate before joyful parents put
120 more kids on the buses.

We cleaned. Slept. Studied. Talked. Prayed. And ate all of the ice cream bars in the dining room freezer.

Frank came on Tuesday. Frank, a Forest Service Ranger in a Smoky-the-bear hat, telling us that our water supply had run out and that he was not going to allow our camps to continue.

We begged a four-day extension and prayed for rain. Frank promised to return with his yellow “CLOSED” tape Sunday morning. The Time of Jacob’s Trouble had arrived. The end of camp was near.

We prayed for rain, enough rain to fill the tanks and care for the needs of kids.

Everything stayed dry.

Discouragement grew. “Maybe God doesn’t care about our camp.” “Maybe we haven’t been praying hard enough.” “Maybe there is sin in the camp.”

We prayed longer, confessed deeper, studied harder, and watched for clouds.

No clouds. Much discouragement.

Don wondered if “maybe God is waiting for us to get ready for the rain.” In case he was right, we worked all day cleaning the spring and digging trenches.

Clouds came. And went away.

Saturday night we met in the dining room and whined about God. “He doesn’t listen.” “He’s ignoring us.” “We’ve done our best and nothing’s happening.” “He doesn’t care.”

We were not a pleasant group.

Then Cindy exploded. “I don’t understand you guys! You say you believe in God and talk as if you can hardly wait for him to come, yet you whine if he doesn’t do everything you demand. So what if he didn’t answer our prayers with a thunderstorm. Maybe he has a better way. Why does he have to fit into our box? Maybe he wants us to fit into his!”

We sat in stunned silence, waiting for the next shoe to drop.

“OK!” she continued. “Get out of here, get down on your knees and tell God you’re sorry. Ask forgiveness for your pride. Tell him you trust him with or without water. Apologize! Repent! Let God be your God his way!”

We followed her out the door and knelt in the dust.

Twenty minutes later Chief Runamuck came screaming down the hill toward the dining room. “TANK!” “TANK!” “TANK!”

We ran to the empty water tanks, and found them overflowing with clear, cold, sweet water. The spring was still dry. The pipes were still dry. But water was gushing out the overflow valves.

We were all amazed! But Cindy just smiled and pointed up through the dry sky. The End of the World would have to wait awhile.

Written by Dick Duerksen

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About Dick Duerksen

Dick Duerksen

writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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