Hello friends!  Commander John here.  I have been thinking about adversity lately.  I remember days of old when I trained to be an athlete.  There were days that the coach would push us till we thought we would just die right there on the field.  Many times, I thought about quitting right then and there.  I wanted to be a winner and get the trophy!  So, I pushed through.

In the summer of 1990, I was about to head to Junior Leadership Training Camp (JLTC).  I was excited and this was my first Royal Ranger “official” training camp.  I had packed all the needed supplies and was on my way to rendezvous with other boys from my section who were going too!  We hit the road to the camp. We arrived at camp way earlier than the rest of the candidates and were getting bored sitting around.  The commander checking us in pointed out a basketball court and gave us a ball to go shoot some hoops.  I was excited because basketball was my sport!   While we were playing, I rolled my ankle and went down in pain.

I was carried over to the caretaker’s house where I was evaluated.  It was determined that I had severely sprained my ankle.  The pain was excruciating!  I had never hurt so bad.  The camp commander called my parents to find out what they wanted to do.  My dad asked to speak to me.  Dad and I went back and forth about what needed to happen to treat my ankle and I refused to leave camp and requested to stay.  I iced the ankle and got a pair of crutches from the caretaker’s storage closet.  I was able to get around ok with help from my patrol carrying my chair.

Later that night we went to the council fire and heard a message about the Holy Spirit and how we would receive power in our lives.  I went forward at the altar call to receive the Holy Spirit and started praying.  I had a life changing experience that night!  The camp commander spent time praying for and with me until I received the gift that was promised.  When I wiped the tears from my eyes and looked around, it was just Commander Tom Shaffer and I left in that field at about 1:30 AM!

I shared this story because if I had quit and gone home, I would not have had the opportunity to have that experience.  God had plans for me that weekend and the devil wanted to steal that from me.  That dirty devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy what God has purposed for the good in our lives (JOHN 10:10).  I am so glad I chose to tough out that physical pain and push through to a victory.

Are you going through difficult times?  Is the storm of life beating down on you?  Do you want to quit?

Listen!  There are many just like you who are going through stuff too.  We are privileged to have a network of Royal Rangers around us to help us through these tough times.  Reach out to someone and let them know you need extra prayers or council so you can overcome the situation and reap the blessing that God has purposed for you.  You can do it!

John Squires