Renewed. Rested. At peace.
The weekend away had a great impact on me. The time was there to reconnect with old friends and more importantly, God. I have felt so distant for a really long time...to everyone..."out of the loop" you might say. The theme was perfect - Jesus Calling...and call me He did.
I wanted to share an "aha-moment" with you. A true, God inspired and spoken word through my soul that resonated with me so profound. It all started when a few of us decided to walk down to the river one evening....
The path leading down to the river was long, steep and rocky. Passable, very much so, but with caution. We started our journey about 6:00 pm Saturday night. Still sunny out, it was a beautiful evening. The walk down the path went pretty smoothly. As we cautiously traveled the ground, careful not to stub our toes on rocks or slip on the more steep areas of the path, we ventured down, giggling and chatting, each of us with an excited anticipation of what was to come...of finally getting to see the river, spending some time with each other and stealing some sweet quiet time with the Lord. I had expectations of meeting the Lord there, to soak in His grace and glory and let Him speak to me in the quiet.
We finally made it down the path, where the river stood, so quietly trickling by. It was God's creation of beauty...symbolism at it's finest. The six of us meandered for a small time together and then soon dispersed to our own quiet areas to explore, rest and reflect. For me, this is what I had been waiting for...I had longed for a time like this with the Lord....my soul was thirsty and I took time to drink and fill my spirit once again. When I surrendered to Him my fears, His comfort and peace met me right where I was...it was a precious time I will never forget....it was my river moment.
After awhile, we noticed the sun hanging low and shadows looming in on our path back up to our camp. Time to go. While I wish the stay could have been longer, or more frequent for me, I knew we had to start back before dusk quickly turned into the night. So off we went on the long, steep and rocky path, but going up this time. I never gave much thought about having to go back up the path. One of my friends jokingly mentioned the rough time we would have trying to get back up, but I carelessly brushed it off, focusing solely on the expectations I had for my time at the river.
The walk up was tough. Our legs burned, our faces grew red, our breath grew rapid and short. Even though we all wanted to say we were making it up just fine, it tested and tried all of our physical strength and endurance to make it all the way back up. For some, the edgy, haphazardly placed rocks were tricky to navigate. For others, the looming shadows of the evening made it difficult to see the path clearly. And still for others, it was hard to catch our breath at times. We encouraged one another to keep pressing through. We waited for each other to get their footing or catch a breath. We took turns carrying one another's bibles and water bottles to help lighten the load. Yet, we all struggled in our own way, to make it back up that path, back to our retreat.
We all made it. Safe and sound. Finally back to our camp site. Back to the level ground and lighted road. But it wasn't until the next morning, when one of my sweet friends shared how truly difficult that uphill journey had been for her, that the Lord spoke to me about it....
The Lord spoke to me and said, "You see, that uphill journey is your life." We are all pressing through something....some paths are less rocky than others, have a little more light, are maybe a little less steep, but we are all on a path. And the river...that is the God moments we have to cling to. He is what makes the uphill journey worth it. He gives meaning and purpose for our fatigue, for the sore muscles and lack of breath and the suffering. We must drink from the Living Water in order to sustain ourselves for our journey. And without stopping at the river, we have nothing to help get us back up.
The symbolism God revealed to me in that "river moment" was overwhelmingly awesome....He is still speaking to me new things about the relationship between the river and the path....He also revealed to me how He provides the fellowship we need with others to support us on our journeys. Friends to encourage us when doubt and fear creep in, friends to help carry the burden when we are weak and friends to point us back to Him when we lose our way.
On the eve of a week that is solely in the Lord's hands in regards to Liam and what the future holds for his heart, I found this to be my comfort, my peace - MY RIVER MOMENT to cling to in the days to come. For every moment and every walk with Him is purposed and precious in the sight of the Lord.