Joy, Junk, Jesus

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6

During college, I led a bible study for the girls in my sorority. We met once a week and every time we met, it started the same way. I went around the room and asked each person to share their “Joy, Junk, and Jesus” for the week.

The first time I asked this question, the girls in the room looked at me with blank stares. A couple of the girls mentioned how they had heard of “highs and lows” or “rose and thorns” but had not heard it explained this way before. I explained that it is very similar in the way that your “joy” is the best part of the day or something that was good in your day and your “junk” is something that was not so great (you don’t have to have a junk!). This then left the question, well what is supposed to be my “Jesus”?

I always used the same examples and illustrations to explain how to identify the “Jesus” in their week. I told them that their “Jesus” could be anything! It could be a person, place, or thing. When trying to decide what or who had been the “Jesus” in their week, I always told the girls to think back on when they felt Jesus’ presence during their week. I used the example of a sunrise or sunset because for me, I always feel God’s overwhelming presence when I am watching a beautiful sunrise or sunset. A majestic sunrise or sunset is always a reminder to me that God is the ultimate creator and author of our lives and that he is watching over us each and every day.

I don’t know about you, but it is always very easy for me to answer what or who my “Jesus” is for a particular day during camp. When I think about these moments during camp, I think about my “Jesus” moments being overnights and the peacefulness of lying on my back and looking up at the stars in heaven. I think about getting chill bumps during morning assembly as everyone in the pit sings “As the Deer” or “Prince of Peace” in unison. I think about the simple moments of walking from class to class holding hands with a friend and smiling and waving at everyone that passes.

A lot of the time, I think it is so much easier for me to identify these “Jesus” moments during camp because disconnecting with my phone and the rest of the world while I am in the camp bubble allows me to connect with the Lord more. If I am not looking down at my phone or engulfed in the newest Netflix series, I am not as likely to miss the “Jesus” moments and I can see the Lord more clearly because these worldly distractions are not blurring my vision. So really, these “Jesus” moments are occurring in our lives each and every day, we just have to take the time to identify them.

As the above scripture reminds us, “your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.” This is a reminder that the Lord is not just following us around when we are at camp catching fireflies on the pageant court or having a DMC with our best friend by the lake. Instead, the Lord follows us each and every single day. We are constantly surrounded by his goodness and love whether we are in the camp bubble or at home (whether home is California, New York, Texas, or any other part of the country!)

Although we look forward to being able to experience these “Jesus” moments again soon in the camp bubble, I challenge you to try to stop and identify these moments in your everyday life right now. These “Jesus” moments are happening every day in our lives because the Lord is near us and his presence is just as abundant as it is when we are in the camp bubble.

The Lord is present when we are brushing our teeth in the mornings, completing summer reading, or taking a walk around the neighborhood with our family or friends. So I challenge you to stop and think about where you saw the Lord present in your life today. Did you feel the Lords’ presence when were outside enjoying the sunshine? Or possibly snuggled up on the couch with a book watching rain fall? Or maybe a particular song came on your playlist that made you feel his presence? These “Jesus” moments might look different for everyone so try and identify them in your life today knowing that the Lord was with you yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

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