Saturday, June 30, 2007

Experiencing God at Moraine State Park


I woke up several times in the night, anticipating the quiet time with God I was going to have Friday morning. I have been needing time with God...a spiritual retreat. My life has been so busy..too busy. I haven't been spending enough time with God, talking to Him, listening to Him....just BEING with Him. I knew that this morning was going to be special, which was why I had difficulty sleeping.
I think I woke up around 4:20 am, but didn't get out of bed til 5:00 am. My mind couldn't stop spinning. I was surprised to see it was light at 5:00 ! The birds were chirping away too. I wish I could wake up every morning that early! It feels so good.
So I got out of bed and showered, gathered my Bible, my journal, a few pens, my ipod and a bottle of water. I got to Brenda's house at 6:00. She was ready to go. It took us about 20 minutes I think(time flies when you are talking) to arrive at Moraine.
I haven't been there since I was a child. My sister Dianna, used to take me swimming but I can barely remember what it looked like.
We pulled into a spot by the lake, where boats are kept. There was a dock, and a short pier.
It was so beautiful and serene.
Brenda brought two chairs. We set them up beside each other in the grass by the lake. I began to pray and journal. I pray many times all through out the day, but when i need to talk to God and I want to seek answers from Him.. When I want to go deeper..I feel the need to write.
This is how I started out..
Dear Father God, Abba, my lover, my best friend, How I love you Lord. You are the Creator of this world. You are the creator of me. Thank you my Lord and Savior, My King for all you are, and all you do, and all you've done for me. You've given me free will to be who I am. You sent your son Jesus to take on my sins, so I could be forgiven. Lord, I love you. I am in awe sitting here at Moraine watching the fish jump out of the water and seeing the ripples in the water. It makes me think of the effect kindness and your love has on people...One act of kindness can create a ripple effect..it can spread out and get bigger and touch more people as it spreads. Lord help me to create positive ripples in the lives of other people.
I hear geese honking and the chatter of birds. Lord, you are such an awesome Creator. I breathe in the cool crisp air deep into my lungs. It is like refreshment. It feels like taking a drink of water when you are extremely thirsty. That's how this feels to me God. You are my refreshment and I have been very thirsty. Ahhh...It feels so good.
So that's how my praying/journaling started....
Very soon I felt in communion with God. I began telling him about the difficult time I was having in an area of my life. God directed me to His word...specifically to look up passages on Faith. I didn't realize it was a Faith problem I was having, but God sent me first to Genesis 12:7
7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.[a]” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
I knew immediately what God wanted me to do... A few nights before, Karen, my friend whom ALWAYS leads me to God sent me an email with these words written in it... "Be willing to move and act when God says...and be willing to sit and wait if that's His desire. Suggestion: Go through an act of worship where you literally lay this vision, this church plant, your burden for the lost...all of it on the altar. Make a "make-shift" altar and worship Him and surrender tha WHOLE THING. Don't take it back...just stay in close relationship...just be obedient...let God be enough...all you need. He will move and act and you will be His vessel"
God wanted me to make an altar and worship Him. I knew he did. But I didn't want too..I was embarrassed. What would Brenda think? She'd think I was crazy. (i know..she already knows I'm crazy..but this was embarrassing to me.) So I sat there..but the feeling of making that altar grew bigger. I knew God wanted me to do it. It made sense. I needed to do it. So I got up and there was a gully of rocks very close to us. I was hoping Brenda wouldn't turn around so she couldn't see what I was doing..but I picked up a few rocks and took them beneath a tree near the lake.
I went back and picked up some more..carried them back and I began to make an altar. It was a pile of rocks..but it became an altar where I bowed down and worshipped my King. ... After building the altar..I had communion with God. As has happened in the past, each time I have felt God's presence that close, I began to cry..the cries come from deep inside of me..they are cries of unworthiness and thankfulness..It's kind of hard to explain. Like..God is so powerful, and just the feeling of Him is so big..and Good and Wonderful..that you feel unworthy. You just get a glimpse of what it must feel like to be anywhere near Him. So bright..so powerful..so big..so much feeling..it's overwhelming! Does that make sense? Has anyone else felt God's presence in such a way? If you have, will you please share what it has been like for you?
My stomach always hurts too..because of that "bigness". As I said, it's hard to describe. So I layed it all down at the Altar...all of my baggage..all of my unwillingness to give up my control and let God be the leader of this church plant. I need to trust. I need to have faith. I need to let God be God and continue following His lead. So, I had that time with God and I felt free afterwards.
I went back to the picnic table and I continued to look up passages on Faith. read about Abraham and Sarah. I read about Moses. I read about Joshua. I read about the Israelites.. Each verse, each chapter that I was sent too, spoke to me. FAITH. HAVE FAITH!
I read and I prayed and I worshipped for about 3 1/2 hours. Ahhhh... hours of quiet time with God..it felt so wonderful... Everyone needs to experience a spiritual retreat!! You won't be the same person afterwards!
When I felt as though I was finished..I went back and spent some time with Brenda sharing experiences. At about 10:15 we packed up our belongings and went home. What a wonderful refreshing morning,Experiencing God!!! Susan

4 comments:

KJ said...

How awesome to view your pictures...and to share your experience. I believe that will be a milestone for you.

Susan said...

Actually ..these aren't my pics. I found them online..but they were very similar to the views that we had of the lake : ) My altar was much smaller than that rock pile!!
I will always remember the experience! It was wonderful!!

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