Just Jesus
(Photo Credits Belong To Photographers Amber Ginter and Ben Johnson, 2018).
  During the month of May, I was given the opportunity to travel to Canada with two friends to volunteer at Young Life Malibu during their Discipleship Weekend Camp.  Jumping on a limb and going way beyond my comfort zone to serve High School students, I never imagined how God would begin to transform both my heart and mind during this trip.  Abandoning cell service, wi-fi, and all forms of communication for the time while at this camp, you wouldn’t believe the freedom that comes from just getting away from everything.
  Over the past year, my family has experienced what I would call the “The Book of Job Season of Life” (to read my blog on that article click here: It’s Just a Season: http://wordscanshattersilence.blogspot.com/2018/06/).  From a rat infestation to being victims of theft, our dog attacking and killing another dog, and my Father being hospitalized six times, you could say that I needed to get away from everything and everyone to bask in God’s presence.  Hence, when God kept telling me “mountains” and the opportunity for this camp came along, I just knew that I had to go.
  But letting go of everything you see, even for just eight days was not going to be easy for me.  In fact, I even had a fit the day before I was to board my flight that could be described as nothing more than a mixture of anxiety, depression, and fear all bottled up into one.  Needless to say, I still went on the trip, and though the Devil tried to stop me, he did not prevail.
  Stepping foot into the British Columbia Island surrounded by skyscraping mountains and luscious green trees immediately began to calm my weak and weary soul.  It was a feeling that I could not describe, for my breath was taken as the sight became restored.  Standing in the center of one of God’s masterpieces, His beauty began to overtake me as my chains began to fall.  All those family problems back at home?  Dropped.  All those worries that my Dad was just in the hospital two days ago?  Not for me to worry about now.  All those nerves bottled up about life, my calling, and these mountains?  “My Daughter, you have arrived at the end of yourself, and this is just the beginning,” Jesus whispered to me.
  Starting to suffocate in these realizations, I fell asleep that first night thinking about the freedom that comes from outside our comfort zones.  No plan.  No anything.  No workouts.  Not even writing a single page in my journal during the trip, I was in awe of how crazy God could be to take an irrational obsessed routine person and completely isolate her away from it all just to give her the renewal of strength she’d been looking for all along.
  Getting out of my pattern of reading Scripture for this long a day, and praying for X, Y, and Z, even my spiritual life, and normalcy of everyday decisions were filled with ease.  And if I’m being honest, these were some of the best days of joy I have ever had. Genuinely experiencing so much happiness and laughter, I am now left thinking about how much I long for these moments to infect and seep into my ordinary life.  Because when it all boils down to it folks, it’s all about Just Jesus.
  Our walk with Christ and following Him is less about the hours we spend reading our Bibles and praying, and more about Just Jesus.  The measurement of our growth with Him is less about the number of Youth Services we attend, Youth Groups we lead, and Bible Studies we host and more about Just Jesus.  The success of our walk as a Christian at the end of all our days is not valued in the dollars we donated to the Church, the perfection of the songs we lead in worship, or even the number of souls we saved, but honored in the grace and loving forgiveness of a God who chooses to see us through His Father’s perfect eyes because simply all that is needed is Just Jesus.

  And if I’m being honest, too many of us, myself included, have fallen into this trap of doing things for God rather than simply being with Him.  Now, don’t get me wrong, studying your Bible, praying, volunteering, leading a praise lead, and hosting Bible Studies are all great things that I will undoubtedly continue to do for God, however, I have learned that like the mountains I experienced on this trip, you choosing to bask in the beauty of His Creation is worship enough for your life because your life alone is worship.  Let me state that again.  Merely choosing to live your life for God is worship, counting all the “good enough” Christian things you do is not.  Yes, doing those things are wonderful and will contribute to your spiritual growth, but if you are anything like me, sometimes it takes getting away from it all and simply staring at the beauty of His mountains to realize that we really don’t need all those other things.  Not even the service and things I learned at this Youth Camp. We simply need Jesus, because Just Jesus is enough.