In Philippians chapter one Paul writes to the believers instructing them while he is away to be, “one in spirit, with one mind, working side by side for the faith that comes from the gospel.” Ten women from my church, Hope Presbyterian, gathered with other women of faith at a Young Life retreat center called Rockbridge and together we were indeed united in one spirit of truth, worship and hope. It was more than a chance for busy wives and mothers to get away. It was about noticing the glimpses of God’s glory in the midst of our circumstances, for when we see that glory we are changed. Each of us went burdened with different things, different struggles, unique challenges and at varying stages of faith, but what we have in common is that as believers we can all trust the promise God gave us to “work all things for the good of those who love him.” The hard part is understanding what God considers good and how we evaluate good. We can sometimes miss God working in our lives or speaking to us and think that he has been distant or unresponsive, but if we take the time to really look we can see his sovereign hand. We can be certain it is Him when we have been in the Word; it focuses our vision to see what we could not see before.
Our weekend was filled to capacity. Not only did we engage in literally hours of bible study filling us spiritually, they did a fabulous job of filling us physically. It wasn’t just that the food was good, but something remarkable happens when meals are shared together. A table, food and fellowship are the ingredients in building relationships. And as I would see on the high ropes course as well, “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.”(Ecc 4:9-10) At first I was the only one interested in even doing the course, but a rapid course of events transpired, 7 names were signed up and that was that. I was pumped! I had never done one, always wanted to, no real fear of heights, this was going to be awesome! That was NOT how I felt in the moments leading up to stepping on the first obstacle or how I felt as I ever so slowly moved from wire to wire step by step terrified to my very core. God and I talked that whole way, every scary minute of it! I looked around and he showed me 6 other women, some as afraid as I was, stepping right along with me. I was not alone, not only was God with me, but he provided others I could see, touch and hear cheering me on. We yelled, screamed, I even cussed when I fell off one portion, we laughed. It was a beautiful picture of friendship that revealed a very big whole in my heart. I do not trust. I don't trust others and even more so I do not trust myself. God is working on that in my life. I have been reading Nicole Johnson's book Fresh Brewed Life and God has also used that to speak many truths to me.
We do not walk this journey of life and the mission of sharing the gospel alone. We can trust those around us and we can trust God who provides all we need for the life He has called us to. And as for that high ropes course, let's just say it was a ONCE in a lifetime opportunity!