Two Things I Learned at Pine Cove

By McKenzie May

This summer, I had the absolute privilege of being a counselor at the Pine Cove Ranch in Tyler, Texas. In my seven weeks, I shepherded sixth and seventh grade girls through Bible studies, dance parties, tough questions, and insecurities, and the Lord taught me so much through it all. Here are two lessons God placed in my path this summer.

1. Be dependent on the Lord alone

First and foremost, the Lord brought me to my knees every night. I was more exhausted than I had ever been before, and nothing that I was doing was working. No amount of coffee, sleep, or encouragement from others did the trick. It got to the point that I thought if I had to jump or yell or dance one more time, I was going to fall over and die.

I learned the discipline of praying constantly. In every small moment of weakness, in every bit of unease, and in every feeling of joy, our first response should be to communicate with Jesus. After putting my campers to bed late at night, I would go into the bathroom and sink to my knees, and ask the Lord for more. More energy, more joy, more rest, more strength. He would always provide, but sometimes it would be just enough to get through the day, and nothing more.

Jeremiah 31:25 says, “For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”

This is a promise from our God! He cares deeply about us, He loves us, and He will not allow us to perish.

1. It is not our job to save people

One of my campers told me she just couldn’t make the leap of faith to fully trust in Jesus as her savior. In that moment, I felt myself fully take on the burden of her salvation. I had one week to get her to know the Lord, or I was a failure.

This is not our job as Christians in the slightest!

1 Corinthians 3:7 says, “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”

We are called to faithfully share the Gospel to the best of our ability, but anything after that is up to the Lord. We are unable to soften hearts or remove the scales from eyes, and once we realize this, we are freed from the heavy yoke of thinking we are as mighty as God.

As I finally sit back at home, I am starting to process the rapid growth I experienced at Pine Cove. I am tempted to relax, but as one of my friends says, God does not call us to plateaus. On the seventh day, God rested, but then He got back up again. Home is not easy, and I am not surrounded by hundreds of believers and a staff that lifts me up daily. But God is calling me out of comfort and towards more growth, even now.

Learning is one thing, and application is another.

But thank goodness that when Jesus gave us the Great Commission, He said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20

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One thought on “Two Things I Learned at Pine Cove

  1. Life will continue to be our university to live and learn more how/why God planned for us in the here and now. Ken, another inspiring article on your journey to know God’s plan for your life. Keep up His Good Work!

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