The crackle and pop of the camp fire fades away to the snap of twigs underfoot as we hike down a forest trail. Flashlight beams illuminate the path, while campers and counselors hold quiet conversations as they walk. But as we reach our destination, a small clearing in the middle of the woods, the voices fade, the lights are extinguished, and we sit in silence.

We look up to the stars, the huge, flaming spheres mere specks in the heavens above. The Big Dipper is visible through the treetops, and a satellite drifts across the sky. I think about the fact that the God who made the stars and the Earth is here with us now.

After a few minutes, a guitar breaks the stillness, and the night fills with the singing of high school students glorifying the God of the universe. And then it falls quiet. It is time for prayer, to speak with God, to praise Him for who He is. But no one seems to be willing to be the first one to speak up. We sit for a moment, then someone thanks God for His mercy. Another for His love, then another for His grace and power. It’s everywhere now, campers and counselors, a word, a sentence, thanking Him, worshiping Him for who He is and what He has done. He is majestic, He is holy, He is creative, He is overwhelming. The passion for God fills the empty in the middle of the woods. God is here and He is moving.

Matt Larrabee
Camp Gilead Program Staff & Counselor