2017 was a difficult year.
I struggled greatly with not knowing what the future held for me. Drained and listless, I lived like this until a week came where I responded to an altar call and committed myself to surrendering everything to God.
I actually left service feeling quite satisfied and good about myself because I thought I’d done it – I’d managed to surrender everything to God for the first time in my life. But less than two months later, I would laugh at just how naïve I was. The process of surrendering had only just begun, and I’d only covered the easy part that day.
So, leading up to Youth Camp, I began to ask God for a revelation or vision – anything that would give me direction. I hated not knowing what I was going to do with my life.
I had been living with that listlessness for almost a year, because in the last camp, God’s message to me was: “Wait, and go with the flow.” I felt that wasn’t what I needed to hear right before I enlisted, so I said to God, “Lord, I’ve served my time, now give me something to work with.”
But even after weeks of responding to altar calls and diving into prayer, God was still silent on the matter.
Eventually, the time for Youth Camp came around and I went in expecting the clear vision of my future I needed. I would beg and plead to God for a revelation, sometimes to the point where l bordered on demanding one from Him.
And while God did many things in me during these services and altar calls, giving me the revelation I sought and needed wasn’t one of them. I was frustrated with Him, because all throughout camp He had been showing me things that I was still holding back from Him. And each time He did I would surrender them, regardless of how terrifying these things were.
I was back at the altar on the last night of camp, desperate and frustrated. Why was God holding out on me? It was then I felt Him nudge my heart, asking me if I’d really given Him everything in my life.
God will never shortchange you.
The nudge turned into a revelation, as I realised what the last thing I had to surrender to Him was: I needed to surrender my need for a revelation, my insistence on knowing what His plan for me was.
When I can trust God to execute His plan without Him first spelling it out for me – that’s when I can say I have faith. Faith to surrender all that I am.
Still I didn’t surrender straight away. I wrestled and struggled with God, who knew just how difficult this aspect of surrender was for me. At the altar I told God, “If I could give up my desire to know Your plan I would – but I can’t. But even if You don’t give me a revelation again this year, I’m still trusting in You.”
That night, He didn’t give me a revelation. But I told myself I was okay with that, and I genuinely felt relieved of the burden of expectation I didn’t even realise I was carrying this whole time.
The next day was the end of camp – I had already made my peace with God and resigned myself to another year of walking blind.
But in the middle of the pastor’s closing prayer, God dropped not one but three revelations for the coming year. I was stunned, but then I remembered something the guest pastor had said just the night before.
God will never shortchange you.
Those five words broke me there and then. I cried because I realise how arrogant and disrespectful I had been to God – acting like He owed me something. I cried because I didn’t have the faith to trust Him. But most of all I cried because I have an amazing Father, who loved and taught me even when I wronged Him.
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.” (Psalm 37:7-8)
When the lesson finally got through to me, He gave me a triple portion of what I asked for. That’s our God! So I’m not sad that I’ve attended my last Youth Camp – I know that I’ve already had the best one from my Father.