Out. Of. The. Water.

 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to proseper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

A little over a week ago, I was able to travel to Rocky Mountain National Park and be a part of the support staff team at Rocky Mountain High, a high school student gathering that happens every three years.  A couple of us ended up going on a hike.  But not just any hike, we were hiking in the Mountains.  In Colorado.  And our destination was...a lake?

Now I’m from very north Iowa, so I’ve seen my fair share of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes and let me tell you, I was not exactly, what you would call, excited when I found out we were hiking the mountains to see another.  On top of that, right as we set out, large clouds began to form and we soon realized that we were about to get soaked.  And guess who didn’t bring any rain gear?  But, regardless of the things, I was in Colorado, so I knew it couldn’t be that bad.

As we approached the lake I had formed this idea of what it would be like.  I envisioned a meager sized pond at the base of a mountain.  The view would be alright, as long as you walked right along the edge of the water.  But I didn’t feel like we’d hiked high enough to have a view worth taking pictures of.  As we made it out of the forest and walked up to the edge of the lake, the surroundings took my breath away.  There was a gorgeous lake, molded perfectly in the middle of a small valley in the mountains.  Everywhere you looked you saw a new view.  Each view even more spectacular than the last. And by the time we had arrived the clouds had cleared up and we didn’t feel a single drop of rain. I am at a loss for words even writing this because there are just some things that you can’t explain.  But the part that gets me, and why I even brought this adventure up, is that no amount of imagination could have given me even the slightest idea what I was going to witness on that mountain that day. 

Recently at a RightNow Media conference, which is not too different from Rocky, I was given some advice that has deeply impacted me. During the middle of a worship set, an individual asked me how I was and what I wanted to do with my life. Now when I say “during the middle of a worship set”, this individual literally asked me a question during the chorus of my favorite song that week.  But, being a college student, I’ve had to answer this question to nosey relatives before.  So I gave him my rehearsed answer and waited to see his questioning glare, followed by the 411 on all the types jobs I should do.  But instead he nodded, smiled, and told me “Whatever your dream, be it as specific or as broad as you want, dream it big and watch how God will blow that dream Out. Of. The. Water.”  Before college three years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to fathom all of the experiences I’ve had and people I’ve met.  I definitely would’ve laughed if you told me I’d be involved in a campus ministry.  Heck, I might even have laughed if you told me I would be a Christian on fire for Jesus.  

When we think about our future, whether we’re an avid planner or we fly by the seat of our pants, we all get ideas and dreams about what we hope to do and accomplish.  Inevitably with any dream, there will be delays, difficulties, and dead ends.  Now if anybody had a right to be discouraged, it was Noah.  Do you know how long it took Noah to build the arc?  Roughly 100 years.  Could you go 100 years on a project without one word of encouragement from anybody else in society?  Noah trusted God.  And when he heard God's warning about the future, Noah believed him even though there was no sign of a flood.  I bet there were many days that Noah didn't feel like going to work.  But nevertheless, he never quit.  He kept faith.  He dreamed big.  

Friends, whether you’ve had the best summer of your life, or you frankly can’t wait to be in school, I pray this is able to give encouragement for whatever you are facing in your life.  Whatever you pray for your future to hold.  Pray expectantly, pray boldly, and pray big, whether that be something small as seeing God's creation in a new way such as the lake in Colorado or tackling a big project like Noah, because God is eagerly waiting to blow your plans Out. Of. The. Water.

Dan Happel
UNI Junior 

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What's Happening?

  • COUNTDOWN UNTIL THE FIRST NIGHT OF BASIC: 25 DAYS. Get ready, people! Mark Thursday, August 24th at 8:00pm on your calendar and join us for the first night of BASIC of the school year. Come check BASIC out and join us for a party on the lawn afterwards!
  • Pella Day Trip // THIS Saturday (August 5th) // Join us to go jet skiing, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and more! We will also be grilling out, playing yard games, and "hanging out" in hammocks. There is no cost! ALL are welcome! Invite a friend and contact Derek Kimball at 319.939.1909 to reserve your spot—it's going to be a BLAST!
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