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Overcoming Fears

Have no fear of sudden disaster

or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,

for the Lord will be at your side

and will keep your foot from being snared.

Proverbs 3:25-26

This week we are welcoming guest author Lauren Johnson who has been serving as a member of our summer staff this year. Lauren has been working both in the kitchen and as an administrative assistant in our Welcome Center at our Okoboji location. She was asked to share what God has been teaching her through her time on staff this summer and here is what she had to say!

Well. Here we are. The summer camp season is nearing its curtain call. Precious memories have been made and joy filled camp games played. Oh, and all the bug bites, awkward suntans and sunburns to recover from have been fully acquired. For me, this summer has gone by so fast it feels like staff training was just a few weeks ago, but at the same time not! Having participated camp life over the past (almost) decade, being on summer staff this year has been a much-needed blessing for me during the craziness and stress of college on top of new COVID-19 protocols along with all the other tensions facing our world today.

With the numerous highs and lows we have all dealt with over this past year before coming to camp, the weight of worries and anxieties on our shoulders has certainly piled up. Some may even feel like the rug has been pulled out from under their feet. Even the “new normal” after COVID-19 seems daunting to those who may feel anxious about the unanswered “what-ifs.” I know I’m exhausted from dealing with the pandemic because I am involved with student media at my university. It wears a person out and makes one feel like he or she is drowning in a sea of negativity and doubts.

I have seen this same anxiety in campers and staff this summer. Someone whose life has been altered because of COVID-19. Another person affected by intense racial injustice. One person who just needs someone to talk to about life struggles.

This is where Proverbs 3: 25-26 steps in. These verses provide comfort to those who are dealing with a range of anxieties about the present and the future. Here, we find King Solomon advising his son to not be afraid of sudden disaster or the impending ruin of the wicked. In other words, he explains to his son how life can be when we are in the mindset of God being right next to us in the passenger seat. This mindset is created through giving our burdens to God because He has our backs and the wisdom and sound reasoning to lead us forward to face each of our days. These verses give a sense of mental and physical assurance when something challenging faces us.

This must mean we’re invincible right? Not exactly…

Worrying about what may come to pass is something of which we all are guilty. It’s human nature. What we know to be certain is when challenges push our patience and judgment, having trust in God will help us keep our heads above stormy waters. This lesson of persevering through life’s challenges has given me comfort when going through tough times just as I imagine it must have for King Solomon’s son when facing his own struggles. It also has given me confidence in places where I am unsure if I'm doing things correctly this summer. I don't know about you, but I overthink a lot of choices I make. Was that the right thing to do? Did I say the right things to someone I just spoke with? What if I'm doing my job wrong?

We have the choice to change our anxious thoughts about sudden disasters into a trusting and calm mind space where we know God will walk with us and inspire within us the confidence to seek BRAND NEW opportunities to grow in our faith.

I am thankful for the Summer of 2021 here at Ingham Okoboji and the multiple out-of-my-comfort-zone moments I have had while keeping this common yet empowering message in the front of my mind. The best part of being on summer staff is how it all doesn't end each week on the last day of camp. You keep experiencing it with each new week of the summer. It’s great practice in not letting those anxieties about moving on after camp, or life in general, snare you.

Follow Up:

What moment(s) in your life have you felt afraid? Did you fully rely on God to be with you through it all?

Think about your trust in God. How are you doing in building that trust with Him? Where is it you see growth? Any parts that have given you the most struggle?

Want to dive into out summer theme for 2021? You can check out our blog series focusing on each of our 5 daily theme verses or our Bible study available online or through our BEYOND App (available in both the App Store and on Google Play by searching “IOLBC”).


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