Did you know there are writing tools to help you find just the right title for an article? I wanted to name this one:
Going inside-out to find right-side-up in an upside-down world.
My online tool said it stunk, so I dropped it. But dang, it captures what I prayed the words in this post would convey:
- The world is topsy-turvy. If it isn’t a pandemic, it’s protesting— all on a global scale. It’s the kind of stuff that makes us lose sleep at night.
- The prophet Isaiah said on behalf of God, “My people don’t know up from down.” What’s true and what’s false depends upon what channel you’re watching. Fortunately, even when we’re not sure what is up and what is down, we can take comfort in the meaning of Isaiah’s name and the motive behind the prophet’s message…GOD SAVES.
- But when, where, and how do we experience the God who saves? We at Sisterhood Ministries believe we can find Him in the same place Jesus did while He was here on earth—in the wilderness.
“…Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” (Luke 5:16, NLT)
The Message version reads this way,
“As often as possible, Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer.”
If you and I wanted to have an intimate conversation with someone, we wouldn’t expect to have it in a crowded room or in the middle of balancing a ledger at work. We know that the best way to connect is one on one. Jesus knew it too.
If you’ve been with us for a while at Sisterhood Ministries, you know that our heart’s cry has been to provide opportunities for women to get away with God. We envisioned women experiencing a sacred time of connecting deeper with Him and one another. And yes, we were planning on literally spending time in the wilderness.
Then a minor thing called “global pandemic” got in the way. We wondered if we had heard God’s call regarding Sisterhood and retreat correctly. But then God began to speak more profound things about retreat to us. He helped us realize that whether it be one hour, one day, or one weekend…
Retreat is simply an opportunity for us to experience God and be changed, energized, or both.
All because we’ve spent time in His transforming presence.
Ruth Barton (author of Invitation to Retreat) says this:
“The practice of retreat means we are fashioning a wilderness within that is always available, and we can always return to. However we do it, we are establishing rhythms that give us a concrete way of returning to God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.”
One of the founding verses of Sisterhood is:
“Therefore, I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.” (Hosea 2:14, NIV)
God loves retreat.
So do we.
July will mark the beginning of retreat for the team at Sisterhood. We’d love to invite you to do the same. We are seeking God’s presence as we step away for four weeks. No doubt, the “wilderness” will take on a unique form for each of us.
It’s important to remember:Time with God can look different from person to person because God's creativity results in variety. Click To Tweet
Each of us is a unique creation of God. Some of us connect with Him through nature. Some of us respond to God by worshipping through music. Others of us draw near to Him by delving into a good book. Each of us will have a unique path (or multiple paths) that lead us to experience intimacy with God.
It is also good to know that:Time with God can look different from day to day and week to week because sustainability requires flexibility. Click To Tweet
A mistake I’ve made as I’ve tried to “fashion my own wilderness” has been to beat myself up or just plum give up because I couldn’t maintain a consistent rhythm. Some days we have the luxury of a block of time with God. Other days we invite Him to be with us even when the day looks nothing like we planned. God is bigger than whatever idea we may have regarding time with Him.
The point isn’t perfection in the pursuit. The point is that God is present in the pursuit, no matter what it looks like.
This week we’ll be leaving you with ideas and resources for your retreat. If you go to our Freebies page you’ll find a great resource for how we can stay connected with others even as we disconnect! Below you’ll find a resource with ideas on how to connect with HIM.
Our prayer at Sisterhood is that we each hear tender truths about how deep His love is for us and that those truths stoke the flames of our faith, as well as the trust and confidence we all need in this topsy-turvy world.