girl playing guitar by the campfire on a backpacking trip

Yahweh, Yahweh, We love to shout Your name, oh Lord”

The voices were all being raised in song around the campfire and then suddenly everyone stood up. I could feel it in the air that night, in the song, in the moment, and in everyone’s hearts. God was present and God was being worshiped. As I sat there and listened, suddenly I was so overwhelmed. Too overwhelmed to sing, too overwhelmed to stand up. All I could do was sit and listen. And then I was given this wonderful reminder;

The greatest blessing in serving is given to the one who is serving.

But let me go back a little bit to give you all some more context to this experience… This summer I had the privilege of being part of the staff at Rock-N-Water. My summer was full of taking groups whitewater rafting, canyoneering, and rock climbing. And along with all the adventure in God’s creation, I also had many opportunities to tell everyone about the God who created everything! Honestly, you all, gonna go on a little tangent here and say that this is the best job and ministry that I have ever had the privilege to be a part of.

This year at the camp, one of my responsibilities was being in charge of trips that stayed at camp. I would be the first one to meet them, give them a tour of our camp, and be with them on all of their adventures. Basically, I got to be in charge of the people, making sure they have a good time, organizing them for the day’s outings, and getting them ready for all the adventures. It’s a lot of work and there is not always a lot of time for rest. But one of my most meaningful moments from this summer came while I was at the campfire with one of the groups I was blessed to be the leader for. It was a group I will always remember as being my highlight from this summer.

From the moment I met this group, I felt like I connected with them so well. Too well. The beauty of Christian fellowship is that when you serve the same God you have the same spirit in you and that means that you can connect with people through the spirit and feel that connection the moment you meet them. That’s exactly what happened with this group. All my free time was spent wanting to hang with them, chat with them, and serve them during their time at our camp. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to and it was a joy to be with them each day.

Each night we would have a campfire where we would spend some time reflecting on the day, worshiping God, and then have a small message from the youth leader. As I was sitting with them during our last campfire, I began thinking about how I was probably the one most tired and worn out from adventures. I was sacrificing my time and my rest to be with them and make sure they were having a good time. But even though I was making the most sacrifices it struck me that I was the one feeling the biggest blessing that night.

When everyone stood up to sing to the worship song I just stayed sitting, reveling in the beauty of the moment, and the realization I was making.

The joy of serving is a beautiful thing.

Contrary to what you may think, the joy and blessing that comes with serving is so much greater than any joy you will receive as the one being served. The biggest blessing and joy in serving is found when we are the ones giving all of our time and devotion to others.  And I believe, this is how God designed us.  God created us to give love and service to others!

This sweet experience has reminded me so much of how important it is for us to look for all the ways we can go out of our way to serve and bless others. Because, in the end, though it may seem like they are being blessed by what we give them, we will be receiving the biggest blessing.

When you look around your life what are some ways that God might be calling you to step out and love someone? How might God be calling you to serve him by serving those around you?