That is just about what our retreat turned into; 24 hours away with God. He went before us, was with us and is still at work behind us. His sweet spirit filled our day and our night. I was a lovely mix of introspection and outer blessings of others. We sang worship songs, completed a mission project, and spent time alone talking to God and reading His word. We enjoyed a lot of wonderful fellowship with ladies we already knew and some we didn’t know previously but who became new friends.
We learned that beauty takes time.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11 ESV)
We must look at life through God’s perspective.
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV)
We discussed keeping pests out of our garden, out of our spiritual lives; anger, bitterness, pride, fear, envy, greed, discontentment, etc. And we discussed how there is healing when we meet with God in our garden.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3 ESV)
There are many seasons in our lives. As we are about to enter fall where I live, I am especially aware of the seasons of life. They come and go quickly. They all have positive and negative aspects to them. God is directing them. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 demonstrates the ebb and flow of life. Just as there is good and evil in our world, God is sovereign over them all.
So when we walk closely with God, the sovereign one, we won’t be bounced around in the tossing of the waves as the seasons of life change. We’ll have a solid rock as our anchor. Jesus Christ is our foundation and by our free will and choices we build our lives upon this foundation. Our life’s work will be tested in the fire. Seasons come and seasons go, but God and His Word are eternal. We have eternity in our hearts, but only God knows how it all ends.
I hope you are walking with God through the garden of your life. He’ll help you keep the pests out and He is able to heal the brokenhearted. Meet with Him. Walk with Him. Be encouraged. Press on.