Do you sometimes have a hard time hearing from God? You mean well as you go to sit before Him, but then your mind starts running away in a different direction!
It’s hard at times, isn’t it? Which is why sometimes you need to get away from all your familiar surroundings so you can just be quiet. As a matter of fact, Jesus even commanded His disciples to get away so they could refocus their minds and rest (Mark 6:31).
I know for me when I’m away from home, I usually can hear God’s voice so much more clearly. Especially when I’m at a retreat where the main focus is communicating with my Father.
Back in January of 2014 I signed up to attend a women’s retreat at a beautiful lake called Lake Texoma on the Texas/Oklahoma border. And, as I wrote about in Take That Bold Step, I was a little nervous because I didn’t know a lot of the women I would be there with; yet at the same time I knew without a doubt that this was something that I needed to do.
This particular retreat was focused more on “personal times with God” rather than having speakers and a lot of group activities.
The Lord blessed us with beautiful weather. The sunshine was out, the sky was clear, and the weather was warm enough where you could walk along the water’s edge with just a light jacket and look out for miles. I was so excited to see what the Lord would do in all our lives that weekend.
And, of course He did not disappoint.
The first block of alone time we were to focus on the questions: “Why am I here? What am I looking for this weekend? What did I want the Holy Spirit to do in my life?
I grabbed my journal and immediately started walking down towards the lake to find a place to sit with my blanket. And as I settled in, immediately I started crying out to my Father:
I want to know You even better, Lord; I want to be so connected to You that my heart and soul will start to panic each time I stray away… I want to see You, Lord – see You in everything, good and bad. I want to remember that You’re always in control.
Oh the setting was so perfect! I felt loved, and so close to my Father…
There was a list of Scriptures to look up, and one of them was Psalm 84, a beautiful psalm of King David of how he yearned to stay close to God.
I felt like my whole being was crying out that I wanted that, as well. I prayed that I would be like the kernel of wheat dying to the ground, so that I would produce many seeds like Jesus spoke of in John 12:24.
And as I finished this quiet session, I wrote down this prayer, written through my tears:
May I be grateful in all things and in all ways, remembering that Your love for me is beyond my comprehension and understanding – it’s real, true, and it will never fade or pass away. You love me so much that You took our son Matthew home at an early age because You knew that would draw me to You, and You wanted me to know that I’m always accepted and never rejected by You. You allowed me to come to this beautiful place because in a way it reminds me of the west coast and the peaceful times I used to experience gazing out over the water. You brought me here because of your love for me, and I’m so thankful that I know You and that You are in my life…
After writing my prayer I realized that it was time to regroup with the other women, so I quickly gathered up my things and headed back to the main lodge where we would be given our next assignment to focus on. I didn’t want to miss it.
Part 2 coming up next time!