Thankful for Election

I had a discussion last night with a few other counselors about the regrets you have at the end of the week, the nagging “I could have done more” thoughts. The “maybe my kid could have gotten saved if I’d just said the right thing.”

Since we know the importance of our mission, we take it seriously. And when we don’t see the results we so dearly crave, we often feel like we failed.

But we’ve had a few testimonies this year that struck us bc of their relevance to this issue. Ones like “I got saved this week. This is my third year coming to camp, but it finally clicked this time.” What a wonderful thing, right? But the fact that it took three years means that there were two years of counselors feeling like they failed. But they didn’t. It was all in God’s timing.

The problem is, we don’t know which kids are going to have that testimony and which ones won’t ever come back to camp, church in general, or God.

The great news is, we don’t have to know that!

I’ve been studying Reformed theology for a while now. And of course predestination, one of the 5 components of TULIP, comes up a lot and is heavily debated in Christian communities. Last night, I finally realized why God talking about “the elect” in the Bible is so reassuring:

He doesn’t need us!! We staff remind each other over and over that WE don’t save the campers. We lead them to Christ and let Him do the work in their hearts. We’re here to pray and talk with them and help them understand what He’s leading them to do.

But if that human being is one of God’s elect, he or she (aren’t you proud of me, Mom? I didn’t use singular they) WILL be saved! Maybe not at camp, maybe not now, but our actions cannot change their eternal destination for better or for worse. God has already planned out if and how they will be saved. If we slack off and don’t let Him use us, then He’ll use someone else. And that’sOK! We want God to use us bc it’s a beautiful thing to see a child come to life in Him! We want to be a part of that process! But He doesn’t have to use us. He might just use us to plant the seeds.

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.

-1 Corinthians 3:6 ESV

That verse gave me a lot of comfort last year, but the doctrine of election is giving me even more. And joy!

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

-John 15:16 NIV

It’s not me out here trying really hard for God, it’s me living out what God has called me to do. It’s showing His love in everything I do and say. I’m His servant, and I know that He has me here for a reason. He has a purpose for me. I’m not flailing aimlessly, trying to prove I can love somehow.

Romans 9 talks about this too.
Actually, there are a lot of scriptures on this topic. So, here’s a link to a good list of them.

I’d like to hear thoughts, or just “mmmmm”s. Either way, it’s nice to know that I can’t make or break a kid’s salvation. Someday, I hope he or she can look back on my influence and say that I helped them positively and showed them Christ, but that’s it. God is the potter, I’m only a tool.

And I’m just fine with that. 🥰

Sydney (or, as my girls called me last week, Sweetart)

12 Replies to “Thankful for Election”

  1. Very VERY good indeed Squid!

    I came to the doctrines of grace kicking and screaming in the late 1980s and have since found the invincible sovereignty of God to be a great comfort through times of trial too. In fact the ONLY comfort.

    You’re on the right track my dear. Jesus Christ is not wringing His holy hands hoping people will believe in Him. He IS saving His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Somebody asked me several years back , in the midst of a personal tragedy if I believed that God had decreed this thing. Providentially, I had been in the midst of helping her understand the reformed worldview. RIGHT when this happened. Her 8 year old nephew had been hit and killed by a drunk driver.

        She angrily asked me:

        “Are you telling me that God foreordained this young boy’s horrible death!!!”

        Of course realizing her pain I asked her in return:

        “Would you prefer it if He hadn’t? That He was doing His best to stop it, but things got away from Him for a minute? That death was more powerful than God?” Or that He just stood by and watched it happen?

        It took her several minutes to respond, but she finally did with one word:


        I told her:

        “Don’t you see? You have a hope that unbelievers and even many Christians don’t have. Or at least don’t know they have. Almighty God ,the creator and king of all that is, without whose all governing decree and providence not one atom in all the vast cosmos dare twitch, has a flawlessly wise and holy purpose for even this. He will order it to His own glory, the highest and noblest purpose there could ever be. Death and evil have NOT triumphed!!

        Even through this horrific pain, you are not like those who are without Christ and have no hope in the world. And you have not just any hope, but THE greatest hope of all. That even sin and death cannot overcome His all wise and holy counsel.You can trust Him because He CANNOT be defeated and therefore as His child in Christ, neither can you.”

        These are not just heady doctrines for theological eggheads to argue over. There are profound life applications.

        Be encouraged indeed 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Praise the Lord for helping you grasp the beauty of election! My mom died five years ago today, leaving me with no assurance that she ever received Christ. Your beautiful post reminds me to trust God’s sovereignty regarding Mom. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Coach!! Thank you so incredibly much for your sweet compliments! 😭❤ I’m so excited to see how God is going to grow me this fall at Covenant, and maybe I’ll get to share some of those lessons and insights on here. ❤ Thank you for your wise teaching and encouragement. 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said, Sydney. We so much want to take credit for God’s work in the hearts of others, and conversely accept blame if it doesn’t happen. Only by the work of the spirit are hearts and lives changed. If we are faithful, we will be the voice, the ambassador, and the encourager that God uses to change lives, for how shall they believe in whom they have not heard? The other aspect of election is trusting in the holiness and goodness of the Father who is far more giving and merciful than we could ever dream of, Romans 8:32 – He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will He not also with him graciously give us all things?

    Liked by 1 person

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