This feels like an odd place to start, but everyone needs to start somewhere.
The short story was that there was a prayer retreat. A prayer retreat that took months of planning and thousands of emails and hundreds of conversations and gentle nudges and bit pushes and wondering if we had all gone nuts and how could this all really work.
Then it happened. And now it’s over.
For the last two days I’ve wrestled with my reflections, asking myself if it’s wrong to consider a prayer retreat anticlimactic.
In all the prep and all the prayer and all the journey it took to pull it together there was just so much new and exciting and possible. The things going on around it all seemed to tie in and this, this was going to be the moment where something clicked and something changed and all the other pieces came together and it happened.
Not really sure what I thought the it was. Not really sure what I thought would happen. It was just this idea that we’d all be together and focussed on God and available that SOMETHING had to happen. Right?
Things did happen, of course. All of the feedback has been wonderful. I just didn’t feel it. Maybe it’s because I was sick or maybe it’s because I was distracted or maybe…maybe it wasn’t a moment.
Of course I’m reminded of Elijah in 1 Kings and how God wasn’t in the fire or the earthquake but in the whisper.
Why do I think God in the fire or God in the moment is better or more desirable than God in the whisper?
I look back over the time planning the retreat and I can’t deny God’s presence. God guiding us and leading us through conversations and prayer and situations. I can’t deny that God has changed me and healed me and helped me to grow so much over the last few months. All in a whisper. Instead of bowing down amazed that the God of all things, creator of heaven and earth has spoken to me and called me and taken me by the hand, I stomp my foot and pout because there wasn’t any fireworks.
I am thankful for the whisper. I am thankful for the change and the growth. I am thankful for the reminder that I don’t need to wait for a moment – for an eathquake or a fire or an event – to encounter the living God.
Growth happens so slowly. Cell by cell in layers building up, each one so small you almost can’t see it. I’m reminded of growth on an evergreen tree – so delicate and small and seemingly insignificant we forget that ever branch once started out like that.
(taken from words4it.com)
I want to grow. I want to see the people around me grow. I want the community as a whole to grow and I see signs of that growth, little glimpses of it here and there. God is leading us, just as He intends to, sometimes despite our own understanding of the situation.
Here I raise my Ebenezer, hither by Thy help I come
And I hope, by Thy good blessing, safely to arrive at home