[Dover Publications free clip art]
Tenting Tonight on the old Camp Ground
”We're tenting tonight on the old camp ground,
Give us a song to cheer
Our weary hearts, a song of home,
And friends we love so dear.
“Many are the hearts that are weary tonight,
Wishing for the war to cease;
Many are the hearts that are looking for the right
To see the dawn of peace.
Tenting tonight, tenting tonight, tenting on the old camp ground.”
(A song of the Civil War era. See
Wars and unimaginable horrors still happen. The hearts of many continue to be weary. Will there ever be a dawn of peace? Not fully, until Jesus Christ returns.
But what are we to do in the meantime? The worldwide economy is shivering. Flames of war and violence lick at many a trouble spot today. Will even wider, more devastating disasters choke us? How can our minds endure the news headlines which stir up many alarms and fears?
We wish our days to just “go on” as before – or preferably, we dream of better times, self-accomplishments, comfortable lifestyles. Some people keep on spending money on frivolities. Some are looking for higher status or chasing an elusive “happiness”. Some plot great dreams for their futures. Some clamor to join a certain dance or “belong to a special tribe”. (People like themselves. Acceptance and understanding.) Meanwhile, others speak anger or hate, or applaud disconnectedness. And still others are suffering under almost unbearable circumstances.
What will become of me? What if I lose my house, my income? What if I can’t pay for health insurance, or lose my job? What if the governments of the world fail? How is it possible for me to feel safe? What will be my fate if terror descends, not just far away across the globe, but here – in my town, on my street?
It looks to me like this is a time period that fits Jesus’ statement that in the last days “there will be wars and rumors of war…”
But Jesus says, “When you see these things happen, look up; for your redemption draws nigh.”
And Peter says, “Think it not strange when you encounter various temptations and fiery trials. …If you suffer with him (Jesus) you shall reign with him (Jesus).”
Yikes! I’m a wimp! I don’t know how to rejoice in the midst of suffering. I’m already overwhelmed. If more hardships are coming, I don’t see how I can endure with perseverance. I know I don’t have it in me to remain faithful to God in tougher times.
My cry can only be, “Help me, Lord! Please save us all!”
What should be our attitude, as Christians? Are we going to continue to amass “things” ? Pursue pleasures? Insist on our “rights”? Believe God has called us to achieve self-greatness? Are we going to knuckle down and insist on reading the Bible more, praying harder, going to church more often, doing good deeds because Jesus is coming soon? (Or because we’re afraid if we don’t work hard enough, God might be displeased?)
What does it mean to “seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you”? What does it mean to be “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith”?
If I have little faith, Our Victorious Savior has enormous faithfulness. If I am prone to let fears shake me, He is capable of carrying those fears. When my heart grows weary – His heart is Valiant. When I look for the right to see the dawn of peace, He already IS MY PEACE.
Oh, how I need a “song to cheer” me! May I rest in Him, for He is, Himself, my Good News, my Savior, My only Hope. (And he says he’ll never leave me or forsake me, or treat me like an orphan.)
“Who having delivered me from so great a death, and does deliver me, and I trust will deliver me yet.” (Paul.)
Then may He bestow on my inner being an unperturbed rest, As H abides with me, and I with Him, may I rejoice that I’m where He wants me to be -- “tenting tonight on the old camp ground.”
Sharing today with "Seedlings in Stone" and "The Wellspring"
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