presents the Boy & the Cabin series 1
A true story about a boy and the cabin he learned about God in.
Written by Vaughan Durston, Founding President of U.B. David & I'll B. Jonathan, Inc.
Lesson 10: God will Allow Us to be Tested
To hear this story read by the author, click the play button:
I started going to the cabin when I was eleven. I have told you a little about the Campbells and how their cabin was a place where we could learn about God.
It wasn't very long after they moved to the cabin that they found another place where we could learn about God and that was a Bible Camp in the Riding Mountain, just 4 miles from home. It was held in the summer holidays and we really liked going there. There were special speakers there.
Usually when I thought of going to camp I thought of all the fun I was going to have: hiking in the mountains, playing ball and meeting new friends.
Often though, by the time several days went by I found that the speakers were so interesting as they told the stories from the Bible that I wanted to ask them questions about God and the Bible and sometimes I missed some of the other fun things because getting my questions answered was more important.
Something happened when I was fourteen and it happened to my brothers too. Dad was a hard worker and he missed his four sons when they were at a week of camp. Dad believed that all of us should learn to work and he had us working from the time we were able to go to school. There were things like hauling wood for the kitchen stove, and the furnace in the winter time.
There were chickens to feed, eggs to gather and cows to water because we pumped water by hand. As brothers we would pump the handle up and down 25 times and then the next brother would have his turn doing it 25 times. We watered 100 cows a day this way and some of those cows seemed awfully thirsty.
I mentioned that Dad missed us when we all went to camp for a week and so he came up with an idea. He asked, "When do you have your Bible studies at camp?" We told him that they were in the morning and in the afternoon we were allowed to play sports and go swimming. By the way, our camp wasn't by a lake nor did it have a swimming pool. We were all loaded up in a big truck and taken to the Lake several miles away for our swim. It was fun.
What was Dad's big idea? He said he had a lot of work that needed to be done and couldn't afford to give his four boys a whole week off at camp. "You go to camp in the morning and then come home and work in the afternoon." In the morning for the Bible studies? Home in the afternoon and miss all the sports? Yes, but you could go back in the evening when the speaker speaks again.
Why would we have to do this when all the other campers were there all day? "Because I have work that needs to be done," was Dad's reply. "Would you rather belong to another family?"
How do you think we felt? What do you think we said, and did? What would you have done? At first, we felt we could think up reasons why this wasn't fair. Then we thought of what the Campbells taught us in the cabin, and what God would want us to do. "Children obey your parents," was one of their favorite verses from the Bible.
The work that Dad wanted us to do was to spread out and walk up and down his fields picking a weed called mustard. It was a plant that if allowed to grow in the field would soon take it over. The mustard plant had yellow flowers, so it was easy to see. We would pick them and put them in a sack. Often it was hot in the afternoon and sometimes there were many mosquitoes.
What do you know? While we were out in the field doing this the truck with all the campers would go by. We knew where they were going. We would be feeling sorry for ourselves, and be unhappy. Then we remembered something else we had learned in the cabin: whom the Lord loves, He disciplines or chastens. God was starting to show us that we needed to learn to work, not feel sorry for ourselves, not grumble and complain. When we asked God to forgive us we had a new sense of joy.
We didn't know it then but found out later that there are many times in life when we can't just do what we feel like. Life is not always a bowl of cherries where you just pick and choose.
Campbells must have had some Friday nights when they could have done something else instead of inviting us in, but they chose to put first things first.
We still enjoyed camp in the morning and in the evening…and work didn't kill us.
If you are interested in reading the rest of the story, see Series 2 here