I stand folding clothes while tears stream…”I need a retreat!” I cram in school and Bible Study and a ladies’ coffee and church night and a load of laundry and maybe a meal or two…”I need to get away!” I flop down on the couch and try to sleep the cares away…”I want a vacation!” I think about the last time I felt refreshed and fully alive and hopeful and at peace…
Was it Monday when I dressed up and hollered out orders in the Church cafe with several other fun and funny ladies? Maybe it was Tuesday, when I had the privilege to take a meal to someone. Maybe it was Wednesday when I taught a load of kids in a room of only carpet and chairs. It could be Thursday when I helped clean up a children’s classroom. Was it tonight when I got that sippy cup of milk for Miss Grace?
I sit down with that Man of mine for coffee this morning, a rare jewel in our days, and tell him I long to serve and to teach our children to serve…that service is the real reTreat I’m seeking. I say that I have just got to get out of myself; I’m stifling what was meant to be shared. I have accepted from His hand, and then closed the fist. I have stayed in, closed the blinds, closed the heart, stuffed hands in pockets, walked with head and eyes bowed down, and the circumstances of the “in-side” have brought me to the door pounding!
I do not need another conference just for me, a shopping trip, a new outfit, more household items for me to hang and rearrange and eventually get tired of. I don’t need to hold another payed for ticket to get into another crowded arena or hotel room to hear inspiration. I have been inspired, only to have retired. I desperately need them…who ever them might be! I need to look into their eyes, shake their hands, hug their shoulders, smile into their face, give them their need, love their very being, and open my heart and hand. It’s time for me to treat them to the abundance of Christ…to give them Him…their own retreat. That would be a real reTreat to me.
So, the only place I might need to get out of is…me. The only place I might need to go is where ever they are. The only place I need to seek is into His face. The place of refreshment I crave lies in His presence…
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
…have I not noticed Him?
13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 NIV
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. Jeremiah 31:25 NIV
May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 2 Timothy 1:16 NIV
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people Philemon 1:7 NIV
I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. Philemon 1:20 NIV