The Tough Timber

The Tough Timber

There is nothing like roughing it out at camp.  Although there are times that things get a little rougher than expected.

This last week I had the privilege of preaching for Landmark’s Junior Camp.  It is, quite honestly, one of my favorite places to preach.  The workers did a top notch job and the spirit among the campers was excellent.  If you want to get a small taste of what the camp is like you can watch the video online HERE.  The messages I preached are also available HERE if you really need something to help you go to sleep tonight 🙂

Squirmy was excited about camp this year because, as he put it, he was able to go “full-time”!  Last year he was a day camper, but this year he got to stay every night.  He had an awesome time.  He was a classic junior camper that came back missing a few articles of clothing, spent all of his snack money within the first few days, and forgot that he was supposed to take a shower.  He came home ragged and covered with filth and stench, but how else is a little boy supposed to come home from camp?

He did come home with a few scars as well.  One night he was running around chasing after some of his friends when a mean ole tree jumped out in front of him.  He hit the tree pretty hard.  It scratched his face up a little bit, but after cleaning him up and getting him a little bag of ice he was off again.

No more than ten minutes later I was talking with some folks when my phone started buzzing like crazy.  I normally try not to answer my phone when I am in a conversation, but it would not stop going off.  I finally took a glance at the screen and saw these words, “Call me, it’s important!”  I excused myself and reached out to the counselor that was so desperate to get ahold of me.  This is what they said: “Your son is hurt really bad – he ran into a tree.”

Again?  Didn’t he just run into a tree mere moments ago?  Does he need glasses?  What is happening tonight?  Did he knock himself loopy the first time?  What does my son have against trees?  What do trees have against my son?

I came upon the scene to find that he had run into this second tree with a lot more force than the first one.  He was hurting.  I took him to the nurse’s station so she could help bandage up his wounds.  He had hit the second tree on the same side of his face as the first one.  His forehead was starting to swell pretty badly and I began to wonder if he had actually broken his nose.

I figured that he would soon be begging me to go home.  But, the little man toughed it out.  I stood there with him in the nurse’s station and asked, do you need me?  He tried to smile and said that he was good.  He stuck it out the rest of the week.  I was quite pleased with how we waited on the Lord and was of good courage.

My little man learned some things this week.  He learned, I hope, to be a little more careful running around the woods at night.  He also learned a little bit how to laugh at himself.  I was told that he walked into his cabin that night and announced to everyone, “You all be careful, there are trees out there!”  Squirmy’s counselor did a wonderful job helping lead the cabin boys in laughing with Squirmy and not at him.  That all had a good time telling as many tree jokes as they could make up and generally laughing at the silliness of the whole matter.

Squirmy faced this difficulty with courage and a smile – even when the entire situation was his fault.  He had done something a little ridiculous and learned from it.

I remember that part of me wanted to scream, “What is wrong with you child?”  I just could not understand how he could be so foolish to run into a tree twice!  But when I got into my car that night I spotted a ding in the back bumper.  A ding that I put there.  A ding that I put there by backing into something.  A ding that I put there by backing into a…. light pole.  (Thought I was going to say tree didn’t you.)

We all do dumb things!  We all make mistakes.  I am so grateful that my Savior is so patient with me.  He never kills me over doing something dumb.  He never scolds me for being and idiot.  He simply lovingly and patiently seems to whisper in my ear at times, “That wasn’t exactly the smartest move was it?”  My God is so patient with me.  How many times have I run into the same “tree of sin”.  How many times have I bolted headlong into sin and reeled back in pain?  Then, like a dufus, I go back and do the same thing over and over again, and it hurts every single time!  Sometimes, I just don’t learn very quickly.

I am so thankful that my God never gives up on idiots like me!  If anyone should know how to have patience with others – it’s me.  I however still struggle with showing the patience with others I should have.  I still fight with trying to give my children the time they need to learn the life lessons I am trying to teach them.  My prayer is that I would learn how to have just a touch of my Saviors patience this week.


Do you ever struggle to have patience with others?  Does God need to have as much patience with you as He does with me?  In what area do you struggle with patience the most?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Sure, you can send this article to anybody you want. And, if you’re REAL awesome, you’ll even tell them where it came from!

2 thoughts on “The Tough Timber”

  1. THE APPLE DIDN’T FALL VERY FAR FROM THE TREE!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember knocking a tree down on a hunting trip? Or maybe a dent in my car put there by a bus driver that parked it there? (:

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