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Water Park Woes

Mom made it clear at the beginning of the week: If I wanted to go to the water park after camp meeting ended, I would have to keep out of trouble while we attended the meetings.

Water parks ranked high on my list of fun summer activities, and I determined to keep my end of the bargain. I paid attention to what the speakers said each day; I didn’t cause trouble while riding the trolley with my friends; and I made sure Mom knew where I was at all times.

My anticipation soared as I imagined the slides and waves I would enjoy on Sunday. But when some older friends invited me to hang out with them instead of attending the Sabbath evening meeting, Mom’s warning faded into the background. However, my pleasure at being part of the crowd soon turned to disappointment. That Sunday I found myself pulling weeds in the garden instead of floating on the lazy river.

I am not the first one to miss out because of ignoring a promise and its conditions. Before Jesus came to Earth as a baby, He told His people when He would come, how to prepare to meet Him, and the benefits they would gain by obedience. Yet, like me, most of them missed out on the rich reward of total faithfulness.

When Jesus returns to Earth again to claim His own, I want to be found faithful. On my own I’d never make it, but He’s promised to give me the help I need to be able to claim the eternal reward!

Build in the Rock

Ever since I could sing, “The wise man built his house upon a rock,” I’ve known that Jesus wants me to be as tightly connected to Him as a house built onto a rock. But I never quite understood how such a thing could be. It always seemed to me that a house perching on a rock would be in grave danger of falling off!

Then I visited Sorrento, a lovely Italian town built on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. As I made my way down the long stairway leading to the harbor, I stopped to admire the stately old buildings at the top of the cliff. But the more I looked, the more puzzled I became. The cliffs were obviously made up of massive pieces of rock. Just as obviously, the buildings silhouetted against the sky were most definitely made of bricks and other building materials. But somewhere in the middle, the line of distinction faded out. No matter how long I looked, I could not tell where the cliff ended and the buildings began. They were literally built into the cliff!

That’s exactly how I want my life to blend with that of my Savior. I want to be so firmly connected with Him that you’d have to destroy Him in order to get to me. Then let the storms come! When I am firmly attached to the Rock, nothing will shake me.

In His strength,

YD Connection

YD Staff, how do you know God is working in your life?

Will Evert: One of my greatest blessings is the desire God gives me to follow Him. What an encouraging indication that God is working in my life!

Janet Evert: I know God is working in my life because He has promised to do so. Whether I have stresses, successes, or struggles, I know He is using each situation for my eternal good. I know from experience that He has answers to every difficulty—when I trust Him to work in me to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Kezzia Keener: When I look back and trace the journey of my life from who I used to be to who I am now, then I know that God is the reason. It always amazes me that God is willing to work in my life, but I am so thankful that He is. I’m looking forward to seeing what else He has in store for me.

Tony Evert: He makes my burdens light, duties a delight, and even sacrifices more of a pleasure. Along the way, I see His beams of light brightening my path.

Ted Evert: I know God is at work in my life by the conviction that comes when I have done wrong, the trials that burn away the dross, and the peace that could come from no other source.

Heidi Reinecke: Faith tells me to reach out into the unseen and grasp the hand of God, because it is better than the visible and safer than the known. There are days when I can’t see physical evidence of His working—days when I fall on my knees and cry out to Him for proof. But the proof is in His Word; and that Word has promised that if I am willing, He is working!

Jessica Pendleton: I know God is working in my life when I feel pain. I have learned that pain is one of God’s gentle ways of drawing me to Him and letting me know that He loves me, that He has a plan for me, and that He is even now working on my heart and calling me higher, closer to Him. Just think: Without a hurting heart, I might never know the depths of God’s love and care for me!

Rafael Kopke: When I find myself asking for God’s help even for the simplest tasks of life, surely that is His hand working in my life. 

Cheyenne Reiswig: It seems that every passing week, during my times with Jesus, I see more things that I need Him to change in my mind and my behavior. It’s humbling and often painful, but it’s needful and it does show me He’s at work—because it reminds me to go to Him for help!

Beware of Wolves

Marie and I became friends before I can remember—our families were just that close. Growing up, we spent countless happy hours playing. As we matured, she and I began discussing deep issues: our dreams for the future, politics, relationships, religion—almost everything. I trusted Marie’s opinions. After all, we had the same religious faith. But during our teens I noticed Marie’s values changing. It started subtly, with remarks that she didn’t see any point to certain principles our parents had raised us to keep. Puzzled, I studied the issues myself and brought Marie the evidence. She would shrug, and I could tell she wasn’t convinced. Did she not believe the written Word—or was I somehow wrong?

Before long, Marie started changing her music, clothing, entertainment, and so on. At times, our visits together felt awkward, because of our diverging convictions. Sometimes, I would give in and watch a video with her or try on her clothes. Then I’d go home and review the counsels she’d disregarded—and I’d be convicted afresh. Soon I realized I had to make a choice: to stand for God’s Word no matter what my friend thought, or to go along with her and hope she was right.
I’m glad God helped me stick to His Word. If I hadn’t, I might not be an Adventist today—Marie isn’t.

Jesus warned us to beware of any person or idea, no matter how trusted, that would lead us away from following His instructions. Remember: Sometimes wolves come in surprising costumes!

Your friend,