According to my thesaurus it can include revive, enliven, invigorate, rejuvenate, energize, restore, recharge and revitalize.
At times a cool breeze or an icy glass of ice tea can be refreshing, at least physically.
During the past two days I have been refreshed physically, emotionally and spiritually.
That is because it was my God doing the refreshing.
I have, indeed, been...
Oh my Papa is so amazing, so gracious, so wise and so delightful!
Friday morning I arrived with a friend at the retreat center. I knew I was suppose to take part in this weekend retreat, but had no idea what to expect. Out of the twelve women attending nine were unknown to me. I did not know anything about them apart from the fact that they were known by the friend who had invited me to join them. I really enjoy my friend, Denise, so had no reservations about taking part.
I quickly saw that I was the junior participant of this weekend. Many gray and white heads greeted me. What would this weekend hold for me?!
It held an opportunity to worship my God with like-minded women.
It held an opportunity to learn from ones who have walked long and faithfully with our God.
We each had our own room and each room had its own name above the door. Mine was "Peace."
On my pillow two cards had been placed there for me. The messages on both had been prayed over and selected just for me.
The first was from the Old Testament book of Jeremiah, Chapter thirty-one, verse three,
"I have loved you with an everlasting love."The second simply said,
"Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness."Over the two days of the retreat the message of His great love for me would be repeated over and over.
How else can one respond but by worship?!
And worship we did....
Do not think that this retreat was just filled with feel good fluff. No, Papa had much to say and it seemed to be tailored to my heart. His Truth washed over and through me.
I am certain that each one of the participants would say the same thing, but that is just how our God works.
The first fourteen verses of the thirty-fourth chapter of Exodus were where we camped out. In our first session we explored verses one through five. We looked at who our LORD is. He is YAHWEH. That is the Name that speaks of Him being:
One True God
The Great I AM
But that Name is only for those who are in covenant relationship with Him. When He reveals Himself by that Name it is an invitation into that relationship.
We had to start by exploring this, because you cannot go any further if you do not know Who this God is. It is always good to be reminded of Who it is that we call our God and Savior.
Reflecting upon Who He is always stirs the hearts of those in relationship with Him.
Stirred to worship!
The next two verses of the passage in Exodus spoke of God's outrageous love for us. Actually God declared His own Name and said that He is:
Abounding in (lavishing) love!
There are many other passages of scripture that proclaim these truths.
We were given an assignment. Go off by yourself and reflect on how you know that God loves you.
Many proofs came to mind.
He speaks to me
He answers my prayers; some that I have never spoken
He reveals Himself and makes it clear that He enjoys our time together one-on-one
I have peace in the midst of all types of situations
He meets my needs
Gives me His Spirit
Gave His Son for my redemption!
Has given me emotional healing
Healed relationships (many!)
Enables me to ministers to others because of my past
Allows me to write :)
Gives me understanding
Doesn't allow me to stagnate (for long!)
Meets my heart's needs
And one that has meant so much to me over and over...
He has revealed Himself as my Abba (Papa), I am His beloved daughter!
I never knew my dad, not even who he was. The joy that I experienced, when He told me that He had adopted me into His family and that I could call Him Papa, was and is uncontainable!
Our group then moved on to what our response to all this amazing good news should be. In the Exodus passage we learned that Moses' response was to bow down to worship before the LORD God. The Hebrew word for "worship" used means to bow low, so he bowed down to bow low. It means to prostrate oneself, to pay honor to and have reference for; so he was on his face.
That is the appropriate response when we encounter the Living God and experience His grace and love.
The response flows from a grateful heart, which is the place to start. We are in the Presence of One much greater than we.
This great One says in Jeremiah that
"With cords of My own affection I have bound you to Myself."How I rejoiced and rejoice over this reminder. I praise my God! The amazing thing is that praise brings blessing to our whole body. I am refreshed inside and out. The past two nights I have slept better than I have in weeks! He is so gracious!!
Our next stop was to hear that our response includes obedience. Not a very popular word. Yet, when we know our God and have experienced His love it is a welcome word. It is no longer a duty so much as a joy.
I will be sharing some of what He said to me about that topic when I next post to this blog. He had some very specific words for me.
Those words also held much freedom and joy.
They completed the refreshment and left me feeling so sated that I do not believe I could have taken in anymore.
My joy is full. I am refreshed!!