The best retreats tend to be held in Colorado. Getting away from city noise, unplugging from the usual Internet usage, and being surrounded by nature creates the perfect environment for hearing God speak.
A sweet couple from our church hosted us in their 3-level cabin. They brought a new meaning to the word “hospitality.” They took care of us all weekend, refusing to let us help with clean up or dishes. They led our discussions, took us hiking and introduced us to a couple quaint, old Colorado towns. Nine people from our small group were there, and we enjoyed relaxing and diving into the Word.
SEEK was our theme. While there were many lessons and reminders, I chose just a few to share today.
- Matthew 6:25-34. Do Not Worry. A classic passage to reference anytime. It applies to almost any situation in life because we tend to find a way to worry about anything and everything. We can pull from this several lessons: we cannot add a single hour to our lives, God knows what we need, seek God and everything else will fall into place, etc. But what we focused on from these verses is this: I am valuable to God. This is the central focus of this passage that can easily be overlooked. I have value in God’s sight. And because I have value I release my right to worry. I have value in God’s sight and therefore have nothing to worry about.
- Matthew 8:23-27. Jesus Calms the Storm. Not only am I valuable but also I matter to one who is powerful. A couple new themes jumped out at me from this story. One, the storm was unexpected. Our storms are often the same way. We do not always expect them but God does. That in and of itself brings comfort. Secondly, Jesus was sleeping. I used to read this and wonder how in the world he could be sleeping in the midst of a storm when people needed him. This time I thought how awesome it would be to sleep like this! Then I realized how he had this ability: he knew who controlled the winds and the waves. He did not worry because he knew he was valuable to God and he was assured he was mighty enough to calm any storm. I have value to the one who is powerful.
- Matthew 9: 27-31. Jesus Heals the Blind. An obvious miracle from this passage is that Jesus made blind men see. How was this possible? Jesus asked if they believed that Jesus was able to heal him. The miracle happened in their answer and Jesus’ response, “’Yes, Lord,’ they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith will it be done to you’; and their sight was restored.” Because I have value, I trust that God is not only able to take care of me but willing to take care of me.
The cool part of diving deeper into these verses and discussing them with the group is that I saw these stories…not just stories but true miracles, with fresh eyes. I can read a passage 500 times and on the 501st time view it in a completely different light. I am valuable to God. You are valuable to God. And when this truth takes root in our hearts is when we can fully experience the God who is powerful, who commands the winds and the waves, and who is able and willing to heal our iniquities.
You are valuable to the one who is powerful, willing and able to work in your life.