|on summit of Castle Rock overlooking|
Blue Mountain Lake
Central Adirondacks Spring 2012
"So they went away by themselves..........to a solitary place."
The above quote is taken from the Gospel of Mark in chapter 6, verse 32.
Jesus and His disciples are weary. Jesus' heart is grieved because He has just heard the news about the death of John the Baptist whom he loved. He knew it was a time to get away...to retreat.
And Jesus shows us that we often need to do this too by His example.
I'm reading through the book The Shelter of God's Promises by Sheila Walsh and I'm going slowly because there is a lot in it! I'm finding my self with a couple of evenings a week to just read and I'm highlighting passages and marking Scriptures because much of it is meeting my "still" time with God....and speaking to me about many things that have been on my heart and in my mind.
I'm being reminded that Jesus meets us in our time of need. I'm talking about emotional or mental (or spiritual) needs here, not necessarily physical needs, although of course He meets those too!
But in this new calendar year, my word is "STILL" based on Psalm 46:10 and I'm really getting some days in to "be still and know that He is God". I'm finding that this really does help with emotional or mental needs......like that drained feeling I often get after working all day with an emotionally disturbed 6 year old, in a class of very needy 1st graders.
And sometimes I am spiritually drained from listening to a friend's issues or with various prayer concerns from my small group. Are my prayers effective??
I often wonder.
It is in those quiet times...those times of retreat....that I can be most intimate with God...........and know that yes, He does hear my prayers and yes, they are effective even though I may need to wait for an answer.
Jesus totally knows about being tired....weariness....and being afraid.....
or disappointed....or discouraged.
When I want to be by my self, in a "quiet place" spiritually speaking, I tend to go hiking. I like hiking partners who don't feel the need to rush, or talk a lot........just hike and be quiet with that amazing destination in mind.........that quiet, woods lake, or mountain summit surrounded by the scent of balsam or white pine.......or the blush of Indian paintbrush flowers....or the rippling of the wind across a remote pond.......or the rushing stream of a waterfalls............
It's in this mountain setting that I find rest.
And I can be intimate with my Savior in such a way that brings rest to my soul......and to my mind and even body!
The photo depicted above is one that is in a remote setting in the Central Region of the Adirondack mountains, about 2 hours north of my home in the Capital Region. The hike was up a mountain called Castle Rock and my friend Carla and I were the only people on the trail. It was quiet and fairly warm for an early spring day in the mountains. I remember the peace I felt and the sense of being still with God. I remember that even though we were working out, my body felt a renewed sense of energy and my mind felt free and still.
That is how I find rest in Him............
It might be different for you...you might need a couch and blanket with a mug of steaming hot tea. Maybe you need a warm bath with a comfy pillow to lean against.
Perhaps you just need your Bible, a journal, and a cozy reading nook.
Whatever it is, go away!! RETREAT!!
As I press in to Him more and more, and go away with Him to that quiet place, I find the joy in my heart that is ours even amidst our trials or weariness.
When we are at the "end of ourselves".....emotionally, spiritually, mentally, God will provide for us. And He will call us to go away with Him..........
to find a quiet place.......
............to rest in Him...........with Him.
And on these winter days of no hiking in the mountains, I can take a walk.........or sit in my reading corner and just rest. Bible, journal, coffee.
And draw near to God.