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Urgent Joy

This summer I worked at a camp in the mountains of western North Carolina called Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters. What a sweet season. I lived with less stuff than I ever have before, took fewer showers than I’d like to admit, and was happier than I have ever been. Yes, I had incredible community and friendships, lived in a beautiful place, went on adventures every weekend, and got to work with an incredible ministry, but those things were not the ultimate source of my joy.

The joyful and content spirit that characterized my summer was rooted in a love for the Word of God and a mind that focused on the eternity of the Lord’s glory. Scripture was constantly in my mind, truth filling my thoughts and therefore my words and actions. And convicting me. Geez, always convicting me. You cannot spend that much time in God’s word and not be aware of your shortcomings. In an environment where I heard the Gospel and spoke the Gospel several times each day, I was constantly aware of my sin. I knew I was a failure. And I knew that in my own power I was not equipped or sufficient to love and share the Gospel with my campers each week.

Although it was tempting to see that as discouraging, in reality this truth brought me freedom. I was not enough. But the Holy Spirit is more than enough. Through my time in His Word the Lord showed me my sin, but He didn’t stop there. He further showed me His grace to cover that sin, and His overabundant goodness in using me to show more grace to those He had sovereignly placed in my path. He taught me to see the world differently, to look at the people around me as souls headed for eternity and to see my days as an opportunity to praise Him, as I will for the rest of time. There is joy and urgency in living one's life this way. Joy in constant remembrance that you are His forever, and urgency in knowing the ones around you can know the same reality if the Gospel is preached. I encourage you to fall in love with scripture and to pray big prayers. Not just circumstantially, but prayers for eternity— that people would be conformed to the image of Christ, that you would be faithful to the calling of the Gospel for the rest of your life. The Lord is faithful, and just as I saw Him do this summer, He will answer.

Bailey Tibbs // @bail_tib

Sophomore // Finance

Lynchburg, VA


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