When was the last time you “got away” for a retreat, a time of withdrawing for yourself?
Jesus invites us to:
Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Matthew 11:28b The Msg.
After 5 days of camping by myself at a local state park, I can attest to the value of getting away with Jesus. Here are three top values I discovered in my time away with Him.
Being in God’s beautiful creation for five days let me see His hand everywhere. In Beth and Dave Booram’s book, When Faith Becomes Sight, Opening Your Eyes To God’s Presence All Aournd You , the authors talk about the Bible being God’s little book and creation being God’s big book. I felt I immersed myself in God’s big book. The beauty of the early morning sunlight streaming through the trees, the fluffy white clouds drifting across the azure blue sky reminded me of how truly creative He is.
I would go on walks and see little bunnies eating clover, orange berries hanging from bushes, and heard an owl hooting at night. The full moon lit up the landscape. And campfires calmed my soul. All these indicators reminded me God’s sovereignty is alive and well in a world that has felt topsy-turvey. I felt grounded and close to Him. Where can you go to get into the creation and see His wonder?
When you get away by yourself for five days, it’s much easier to talk to Jesus. You are not responsible for anyone else but yourself. I found myself uncomfortable at first like who am I suppose to be fixing meals for? Or who am I suppose to be helping? That’s when I realized the importance of this time away. A friend of mine reminded me that Jesus was looking as forward to talking with me as I was to talk with Him. What a wonderful vision to take into my time!
I found that to be true. I had a whole list to talk to him about, my relationships with others, my own past history, and even future plans. Throughout the whole time, He had insight and replies back to me through thoughts I would not have had on my own. I did a lot of writing as well and felt directed the entire time.
I did have resources, such as my Bible of course. Another good resource for me is Questions for Jesus, Conversational Prayer Around Your Deepest Desires by Tony Stoltzfus. That resource helped me because it is so personal. The lead in to the materials is Ever asked Jesus what he likes best about you? It really helps personalize time with Jesus. For me, I zeroed in on the idea of co-laboring with Jesus, which is a core desire for me.
My heart felt confused and out of joint before my time of retreat or drawing away. Have you felt that way before? Swirling, not knowing how to sort out what you feel, think or even what your body wants to tell you. I truly went away to seek the wisdom of God, in my relationships, my heavy past memories and my future plans. Wisdom includes “the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting.” which was what I was seeking from God.
Jesus provided me with so much wisdom and discernment. Because I had five days, I had the time to listen, read, rest. Then I could listen, write, rest. Next I would read, write, reflect. As Jesus said, He would show us unforced rhythms of grace when we get away with Him and that’s what He did.
In the time away, in my musings, writings and readings, I gained wisdom and insights about my own responsibilities to my relationships and revisited my core values. Jesus helped me forgive myself of some of my past and reminded me he died for those things and I could let go of them.
He also provided clarity for future plans going forward. It’s not so much the plans but it’s knowing He is there for the asking and will provide the wisdom. I have to be still long enough to listen, reflect and get down to the real issues.
What about you?
Even if you can’t get away for five days as I did, when can you get away with Jesus? Like Mary, in the Mary and Martha story, Luke 10:38-42 TPT, I encourage you to sit at the feet of Jesus, even for two hours. You never know what getting away with Jesus might bring.
If you need someone to help you create safe space and listen for Jesus’ voice, I would love to do that with you. I could even help you design your time away with Jesus if that could be helpful. I hope you feel Him calling you to
Get away with me.
Nancy Booth wants to create safe spaces for you, helping you find ways to have two-way conversations with God. She loves encouraging you to look for ways He is at work. Nancy is a spiritual director and writer. She would love to accompany you on your journey of discovery to hear and see more of the God who delights in you. Peace, hope and freedom could be yours Contact her today.