Experiencing God in A Day with Jesus Retreat
by Roz Endow
Psalm 63:1 NASB“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
The Day with Jesus Retreat is held throughout the year by Pastor Dan who is our mentor and cook (we end our morning with a delicious lunch and sharing). We go to different scenic sites and get away from our busy lives to spend quality time with the Lord. Pastor Dan starts us off with prayer and a time of introductions and sharing, then a brief lesson on a biblical principle or God’s character. He gives us resources to read and meditate on if we feel led during our extended free time listening to the Lord. Pastor Dan’s prayer for us is to “train our hearts to be attentive to God” so we can know and grow deeper in love with Him and to practice how to be a follower of Jesus as he shared in his sermon on March 5th.
Psalm 31:14-15a“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand;”
I usually start with a prayer of cleansing so I can focus on the Lord, then a review of the materials to see if the Lord wants me to focus on anything there, then a nice walk to seek what the Lord will show me and how He will lead me in a time of fellowship. At the last retreat, I just sat on a bench with shrubs and vines decorating the deck around me and I watched the clouds roll by as it was a cold and windy day. I was reminded of verses having to do with darkness and light as the sun came in and out. The Lord brought back memories of childhood cloud watching and I was blessed by hours in my hectic week where I did not need to accomplish anything but allowed God to guide my mind and my heart as He designed.
Psalm 31:19-20a “How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men! You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man:”
During the retreats, I can usually come to a moment where the world stops and I am not too busy or distracted to hear God’s voice and I know He hears me and I am strengthened. I can walk in His eternal perspective and I am comforted. God is faithful.
At the end of my time listening to God (which goes by too quickly), I enjoy hearing how the others spent their time when we come back together and share a lunch. Pastor Dan leads us to see how the Lord met each of us and spoke to each of us and I find everyone is refreshed and blessed. There is a special blessing that I receive when I seek the Lord in community. I am grateful for the experience each time I leave and look forward to the next retreat because I know the Lord is infinitely loving and desires for me to understand and grow in many things.