This past week, I packed my four youngest kids (and I do mean packed!) in our snug Ford Focus along with enough gear and clothing for a week and drove four hours to my mom’s cottage at a historic community in Conneticut: the Willimantic Camp Meeting Association. IMG_5459 In 1860, at the tail-end of the second Great Awakening, Methodist Christians bought 35 acres on a wooded hillside in southern Connecticut so people could come together to worship God.  Up to 1,500 people once gathered for week-long revival meetings. Today, the hillside is filled with small Victorian cottages and far fewer people. We arrived for the annual camp meeting — five days of children’s classes and evening services.

Sitting outside in an outdoor ampitheatre on those cool summer evenings, singing praise songs with other believers as violin and guitar music filled the air was a wonderful way to experience the presence of God. We live in a noisy and chaotic world. But if we are listening, we can experience God anywhere. IMG_5477 One afternoon, after swimming at the camp’s tranquil pond, I herded my kids back to my mom’s with the promise of a treat. That morning I’d taken my teenage son out to buy ice-cream for a surprise. Not knowing what I’d planned, my younger daughter grew increasingly frustrated by my evasive answers when she asked what it was.

“I’m confused!” she finally shouted.

“That’s because you’re not the one who planned it,” I said. IMG_5456 The moment I said it, I realized how like my relationship with God that is.When I’m struggling to understand where God is leading or what His intentions are for my life — particularly during hard times — I often cry out in frustration, “I’m confused!”

The confusion comes not from God, but from my inability to grasp His plans.

Despite sitting in a church pew for most of my life, attending Bible school, studying Scripture and praying, I’m still an infant when it comes to comprehending God’s plans — what He allows what he doesn’t. IMG_5460 In my humanity, I don’t have the mind of God. That’s why I pray. That’s why I read the Bible. That’s why I worship. Because as I draw closer to God, I come closer to understanding His desires, His will, and His plans for my life and for those I love.

That’s why it is so important to set aside time — whether at a Victorian camp meeting or at a Sunday morning service or right in the middle of the week — to seek God.

That frustration you feel? That confusion? It may just be a surprise that God hasn’t reveled yet. IMG_5474 “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace,” I Corinthians 14:33.

What do you think?