How do you describe a moment that touches your soul?
That’s what I am trying to do this morning. I’m searching for words, but finding them inadequate to describe the footprints left on my heart.
But what about the Word? Jesus, the Word of Life. In Him, deep cries out to deep. The longing of the soul finds rest and a nudge to the inner places of the soul that long to know Him.
This past weekend many women from our ministry attended our Women’s Retreat on Hilton Head Island.
I assumed the task of summing up this weekend, and find myself at a loss for words. How do I tell you about the women who renewed their relationship with the Lord this weekend? How do I describe to you the lonely hearts that found comfort and companionship? What about the women who laid down heavy burdens they had been carrying for years? What about those still grieving the loss of a loved one who stood praising God in the midst of their sorrow?
Words simply aren’t adequate.
It was joy in the midst of struggle. Joy in the midst of pain. Joy in the midst of discovery. Joy in the midst of grief. Joy in the midst of a wondrous God who delights in showing the intricacies of His character to us.
All throughout the weekend, God had His hand on this retreat. On Friday night we learned from the book of Joshua what it means to have steps of courage like the Israelites as they crossed the Jordan River. On Saturday we talked about the steps of obedience in Exodus at the parting of the Red Sea. Later that night we discovered the steps of faith from Matthew’s Gospel when Peter walked on water. Finally, on Sunday morning we talked about the steps of love Jesus took beginning in John 13, when He washed the disciples’ feet, leading all the way to His crucifixion and resurrection.
It didn’t hit me at first, but as I began to think back on this weekend I noticed two distinct elements. Water and the making of a way.
You see, in Exodus, God made a way for the Israelites to pass through on dry land. In Joshua, He halted the Jordan River so the Israelites could reach the Promised Land. In Matthew, Jesus calls Peter out upon the sea and made a way for him to walk on water. Finally, in the Book of John, Jesus bends down and washes the disciples’ feet. Caring for them, cleansing them, knowing that He is about to make a way they do not yet understand.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6 (ESV)
Over and over again, God makes a way for us to dwell with Him. It is so wondrous, inspiring and difficult to describe.
Do you need to be reminded today of His longing for you? He desires intimacy with you, to have a relationship with you. Go to Him.
I said earlier that describing a moment that touches your soul is difficult to do. Bear with me, because I am going to try.
On Saturday as I prepared for my message, I stepped out onto the beach to go over my notes and to spend some time in the Word. For a reason that I now know was the Lord, my pages flipped in the wind and my eyes alighted on Psalm 19. The words were beautiful in such a serene setting with the waves crashing on the shore, clouds drifting along the horizon and seagulls crying to one another. I was content.
Little did I know how much more those verses would mean to me the following day.
Sunday morning I walked with a friend to the beach and plopped down in the sand to watch the sunrise. Oh, what a way to greet the morning! As we sat there, I looked back and behold there was a full moon behind us. The sunrise over the ocean before us, and a full moon behind, waiting for the beckoning of dawn to take over the sky.
As you can see in the picture below, it was beautiful.
Now take a moment to read these first few verses of Psalm 19.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat. – Psalm 19: 1-6
Do you see how God makes a way? He covers all the earth with His warmth, His heat, His power. We serve a mighty God—that’s what was renewed in my heart this weekend.
He is a God of miracles. And I don’t know about you, but I want to step closer to Him in courage, in obedience, in faith, and in love. For He has made a way for us to dwell with Him—unto eternity!
Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence, the Roaring Lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me
Jesus, Yours is the victory, whoa!
Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There’s salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope
Songwriters: Phil Wickham / Brian Mark Johnson
Living Hope lyrics © Essential Music Publishing, Bethel Music Publishing