“What was I thinking?” That was the phrase that kept running through my head as I pulled into the parking lot of the retreat center. Three months ago when the announcement was made that the district women’s church retreat was coming up in April it sounded like a great idea…I usually go and always have an enjoyable time. The closer the date came the more stressed I was feeling…my life seemed too busy, too chaotic and too unpredictable. Easter had just finished, my mom’s health is frail, our women’s group at church is planning an event in May that I volunteered to be the point person and my final exams are this coming week…which every spare hour should be devoted to study. I had committed to go and the cost was paid in full, I had women depending on me for a ride to the retreat so I put on a smile and headed out.
After registration I looked over the information packet that detailed the speaker, the theme for the weekend, workshops and free time events. I was disappointed at the weekend’s theme, I didn’t think it was going to apply to me very much. After dropping off my luggage at my cabin I decided to walk back to the main lodge for the opening session. There is a path that leads through some deciduous tress that were just beginning to bud, a wooden slat bridge appears as you cross over the lake. The sun was bright, the sky blue and I paused on the bridge and just listened….I head birds, lapping of water against the bridge posts, wind rustling brushes and peeper frogs announcing the arrival of Spring in chorus! I began to feel my spirit settle, relax.
I crossed the bridge and sat down on a bench that faced the lake. I closed my eyes and lifted my face to the sun, feeling it’s warmth soak into my skin. I began to pray, soon I found myself really being honest with the LORD…about fears, anxieties, sin and obstacles in my life. About hopes and anticipations; desires and doubts. I quickly began to realize that my being at this retreat was not an accident, God had a desire and a plan to meet with me.
When life gets chaotic, when plans, commitments, and the unpredictability of life begins to swirl around like a hurricane, that is when I need to retreat to Jesus…who is the eye of the storm; the place of calm and peace in the midst of the swirling storm. In that place Jesus promises to lead me through the storm, if I place my trust in Him.
“Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”–Matthew 11:28
“I have told you these things so that in Me you might have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!”–John 16:33
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”— John 14:27
“So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and the mountains fall into the ocean depths; even if the seas roar and rage, and the hills are shaken by violence.”–Psalm 46:2-3