Spending time at Family Camp means seeing familiar faces–people with whom I’ve built friendship over the course of our last three years at Headwaters.

We are now in the thick of Week 1 for the 2018 summer retreat season. I stood in the courtyard on Opening Day, talking with one of these friends about the great things and the tough things that each of our families experienced during the past year. For both of us, the tough things of the year were substantial and seemed to dominate the conversation.

My friend reminded me of something he observed here in the Frio Canyon. The walls of the Frio Canyon are tough, rock lined walls, and beauty grows from the cracks in the surface. The cedar, shin oak and mountain laurel grow with abandon and serve as refuge and home for countless birds and beautiful wildlife–beauty growing from the tough things of life.

My friend reminded me that God does the same in our lives. He cultivates beauty to grow from the tough places in our lives.  

Perhaps no one has known this truth more intimately than the Apostle Paul. Paul was repeatedly beat and imprisoned due to his ministry and profession of faith in Christ. In spite of this, Paul was instrumental in the planting and encouraging of many of the early churches. From the tough things of Paul’s life grew astounding beauty. He reminds us that the same will be true for all who choose to know Christ “that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

Even in the midst of the tough things of life God is working to bring beauty. The good work that was begun in us will not be derailed by the tough things of life. God is near. He continues to work. My friend, John, reminded me of this as we enjoyed our Opening Day of the summer of 2018 at LLFC. It’s good to see familiar faces in the Canyon.

Questions to consider:

  • Can you think of a time in your life when things were tough and beauty grew from it?
  • What do you think it means for Jesus to bring to completion the good work that He has started in you?
  • Do you have anyone in your life that is currently experiencing some tough things that could use the same encouragement that my friend gave to me?