Monday, June 24, 2013

On campmeeting and answered prayers

In the history of my denomination, campmeeting is significant and important.  It was a time of preaching and singing.  Of fellowship and friendship.  A time when the church body would move to a campground and "tent".  They brought their ice blocks, livestock, and all other items necessary for living.  As time passed, many campgrounds ended their meeting time in the summer, and other things changed.  Like electricity and plumbing.  Our local church campground, now has electricity in the "tents" (cabins), although no air conditioning - thank goodness for the invention of the box fan - and there is a bath house with toilets and showers.  But with automobiles, most of the congregation now lives in their homes and drives to the campground each night during the meeting time.

This is the week of campmeeting.  Since 1832 this meeting has occured annually - with the exception of a year or two during the Civil War.

The preaching is special - visiting pastors.  The music is special.  It is a time of introspection and renewal as a church.  And also personally.

I can recall several times kneeling at that altar and having friends surround me with their hands and their love and prayers.  I can recall answered prayers and the peace that followed - and sometimes it wasn't peace, but it was at least an answer.  I can recall being one of those people surrounding a hurting friend.  But answered prayers don't just come kneeling at the altar.  It can come sitting in a chair on the stage right before singing.  It happened to me last night.

Last night, I had a solo in the second choir piece of the evening.  It is one I had sung before and I knew it very well.  Right before the offertory prayer, my head started to throb.  So much I thought I would faint if I stood up.  Folks, this is 5 minutes before singing.  I didn't even hear the offertory prayer - I was praying silently to God to help me be able to stand up and sing that solo.  Right after that, the beautiful lady sitting next to me grabbed my hand and held it during the remainder of that prayer.  I don't know that she knew I was hurting but I knew she was praying for me and that it would be okay.  And it was.  My head was still hurting but I am fine and grateful to the Lord for praying friends.

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