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It’s no secret that our theme for this summer is 20/20 vision: I want to see (Luke 18:41). We are also celebrating CROSS’s 20th anniversary. We ask our groups to look around when they’re out and about and pay attention to where they see God. Whether it be in conversation with a neighbor, the work of a ministry site or a simple action by a group member, we ask the groups to take notice. I ask the question “Where did you see God today?” in my debriefs and the most common answer I get is “everywhere”. At that point I usually ask a question like “do you want to expand on that” to get them to really think about it. But I understand why they say that, sometimes seeing can be difficult. 

Often times, when we’re in an uncomfortable situation or don’t know what’s going on or why, it’s hard to see the bigger picture. Sometimes you’re left just asking “what’s up with this, God??”. Outside of CROSS this usually revolves around school or work or sports or another activity you’re passionate about not going the way you planned. At CROSS this is more likely to be a conversation with somebody you meet or information you learn and not feeling comfortable with that being the way it is. Here, it seems the only question you have is “what’s up with this, God?”

When it gets tough, I like to read one of my favorite scriptures: Jeremiah 17:7-8. It reads “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”.

While this talks of a beautiful tree, flourishing with the help of God, we have to remember it started as a seed. When the seed was first planted, you wouldn’t see more than some scratched up dirt and a hole, much like you don’t understand why something is the way it is or see why something is important right away. But if you have faith and give that seed a little water things will change. So have faith, have those uncomfortable conversations, serve and love your neighbors. One day you’ll have 20/20 vision and you’ll see it was more than a seed that was planted. Until then, have trust and confidence in God to let your roots out to the stream, your leaves to be green, and to bear your fruit. One day, you’ll look back and see a full grown tree.

-Emily Petersen

2019 CROSS Intern