How God Answered my Prayer—Part 3—Lessons

(This is the third and last post in a three-part series. For part 1, click here.)

team1The garage renovation project reinforced what I already knew: that even when things look hopeless, there is always hope. My old, tired garage wasn’t ready to give up. It just needed a little help—and that leads to the first lesson I learned:

We can’t get by without a little help from our friends.

I struggle with that idea, because I come from a long line of independent German ancestors with an “I can do it myself” attitude. Allowing others to help me comes hard. I believe that my brush with cancer several years ago and the recent garage renovation were reminders from God that I need to open my heart and welcome others in. My Group Workcamp team made that easy. They gave generously and put me at ease to accept their gifts. One of the team members, Reaganne, reminded me: “We’re not doing it. It’s God.”

The garage experience also taught me that I’ve become a bit cynical in my older age. I wrote a post here, a year or so ago, about “properly” showing reverence to God by worshipping the “old” way with antiquated hymns and quiet veneration. Group Workcamps opened my eyes and proved me wrong. The worship service I attended on that last Friday night was upbeat and spirit-filled. I know that God smiled on that gathering. His love glowed strong with each song sung and every word spoken. My heart was so full!

 The Bible says:

Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn;

praise him with the lyre and harp!

Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;

praise him with strings and flutes!

Praise him with a clash of cymbals;

praise him with loud clanging cymbals.

(Psalm 150:4–5 NLT)

Lesson learned: I was wrong about the “proper” way to worship. There are many appropriate ways to praise God, and there is most certainly a time to honor Him with dancing, blasting horns and loud, clanging cymbals. Way to go, Group Workcamps! You did it well.

The most important lesson I learned is that our nation’s future is in good hands. Andrew, Hannah, Reaganne, and Sarah are prime examples of that. And there are so many other teens just like them, giving of themselves to make God’s world a better place.

I am so impressed by the character of my new young friends that I’ve asked them to guest post here from time-to-time, and I sincerely hope that they will. Whenever they want their voices heard on any topic, they are welcome to come here and “speak.” I want you, my readers, to hear what they have to say and to know that God has planted the seeds of our future. They are good seeds growing strong with His love. I thank God every day for bringing these young people into my life.

The week that I spent with my Group Workcamps team was one of the best of my life. The garage is awesome, but the week we spent together wasn’t so much about the garage renovation as it was the renovation of my heart.

God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

Thank you, Group Workcamp, Crew Seven! I am blessed to have you as friends.

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How God Answered My Prayer, Part Two—The Team

(This is the second in a three-part series, “How God Answered My Prayer.” To read part one, click here.)

team1 copy

On Monday morning, my Group Workcamps crew arrived. They looked at the rundown garage and at each other and probably thought, no way. But they got right to work.

God had sent me two adults:

Doug, a middle-aged farmer from a small town in Ohio.

God knew that my leaning, dilapidated garage needed a talented carpenter, so He brought Doug to shore up the crooked building and install a new roof and service door. Doug worked tirelessly and graced us with his soft, generous spirit and jovial sense of humor. I am so blessed that God sent him to me. The renovation would not have been possible without him.

• And Sue, a woman my same age, from Michigan.

God used Sue to lead the team, and me, in a daily time of devotion and prayer. A hardworking and energetic person, Sue kept the team focused on the Lord. She blessed us with her spiritual wisdom, and she blessed me by tackling the big tasks that I can’t do—like getting up on the garage roof and shoveling off the old shingles!

roofcompost

And God completed the team by sending along four bright, young spirits:

Andrew, a high school sophomore from Illinois, the youngest and the only boy in the group.

Doug mentored Andrew all week long, and by the time the garage renovation was done, this young man had learned to shore and buttress an old building, replace rotting wood, shingle a roof and install a door! Andrew said that he wants to use what he’s learned to help in his own community. I was so blessed through his hard work, and I believe that God will use Andrew’s physical strength and newfound skills to help people in  amazing ways.

Hannah, the second youngest on the team, and from Wisconsin, a high school junior this fall.

I admire Hannah’s daring spirit. During one of our devotional times, she shared that she’s not afraid to try just about anything. She blessed me by digging right in and climbing to the tops of ladders to prime and paint the garage. I wonder how God will use Hannah’s audacious spirit to do His work. With her eyes firmly set on Him, there’s almost nothing that Hannah can’t do.

Reaganne, heading into her senior year of high school, traveled the farthest from North Carolina.

God blessed Reaganne with a strong-centered faith and an abundance of enthusiasm. She owns the ability to see God in life’s little details and isn’t afraid to share her faith. Along with blessing me with her hard work, Reaganne opened my eyes to “God sightings” around me. God gave Reaganne the gift of spiritual wisdom, and I think He might someday use her to mentor and teach.

• And Sarah, from Michigan, the oldest of the teens.

Sarah is heading to college this fall—a big step in her life. God gave Sarah the gift of joy. There’s an old Christian song that says, “Brighten the corner where you are,” and Sarah does that. She brings light where she goes. She blessed me with her engaging giggle and sunny smile, and I believe that God will use Sarah to lend light to life’s dark spots. That can be a tough task, but she has the ability to do it well.

Andrew and Girls

It’s no accident that God brought this group together to answer my prayer. I wish that you could meet them; and who knows, maybe one day you will. God allows unlikely paths to crisscross when He answers prayers and He just might send Doug, Sue, Andrew, Hannah, Reaganne or Sarah to help you some day . . .

and if He does, you will surely be blessed.

Next week, I’ll share with you what I learned from my Group Workcamps experience. Until then….keep looking forward with faith.

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Filed under Blessings, Faith, God's grace, God's greatness, God's Love, God's provision, Group Workcamps, Sharing God with Others, Someone You Should Know, Uncategorized