Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Retreat - Reflections by Joan

Today I'm pleased to have my blog friend Joan share some thoughts with you. You can read more words of encouragement at her blog "Reflections" where she writes about the beauty of God all around her.

Last summer, three friends and I planned a long weekend away from home for a writer’s retreat. We had all been to workshops and conferences, but for this event, we had no agenda, no speakers, and no program—we just wanted to write. We wanted a cabin in the woods with nearby walking trails, a kitchen where we could prepare meals and a place large enough that we could still have our own space.

God answered our prayers by providing a beautiful cabin in the Kiamichi Mountains of Southeastern Oklahoma. It had everything we wanted, including a wrap-around porch with a beautiful view and the promise of seeing wildlife. I was particularly excited about this so that I could indulge in another favorite activity, photography. However, the main purpose of the weekend was writing and I was certain that I would come away with several ideas for blog posts, articles, and maybe even the beginnings of a novel. At least, that’s what I thought…

Instead, God had other ideas. After we settled in, we all went to different areas of the cabin and began to write. Keyboards rapidly clicked as my friends worked on their current projects. I stared at a blank computer screen—no matter how hard I tried, no ideas would come forth.

I arose early the following morning and went outdoors with my Bible and laptop, hoping the Lord would put something on my heart. I prayed and read scripture, but still I had no words.
The second morning, I again sought the Lord. I’m sure you wanted me to come here. You answered our prayers for the perfect place. You provided the resources for me to come. Why then, am I without words to write? It was then I felt Him whisper to me, “This weekend has not been in vain. There will be fruit come from it.”

One of the definitions of retreat is a place of refuge, seclusion, or privacy. I thought my retreat would be one that produced many writings for His glory. God, in His infinite wisdom, knew instead that I needed to take refuge in Him. Rather than me pouring out for Him, I needed Him to pour into me, to fill me, to refresh and restore me.

We make plans, we have desires, and we have dreams. Many times we don’t understand why, when we are doing things for Jesus, that God delays or even stops our plans. I believe that often we go about the “busyness” of serving Him and forget about our personal relationship with Christ. There are times when He has to slow us down, so that we will take refuge in Him.
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27a, NIV 1984) 

Has there been a time in your life God interrupted your plans with his own to refresh your soul?

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