With a child in hospice, another facing chronic pain & disability and my dad battling stage 4 metastasized prostrate cancer, we are facing death head-on, day by day, hour by hour. The weight is no small thing. Heaving and straining, knees buckle, my breath is shallow and quick.
This past week, in a moment of inspiration, an unexpected opportunity for retreat emerged. So, today I am on retreat. My heart is pounding. Jesus’ invitation to ‘come away’ (Mark 6:31) is as real now as it was back then. It beckons and directs. It echos with David’s longing to ‘hurry away’ (Psalm 55:6-8).
Let me tell you, there was pedal to the metal my dear friends, as I pulled out of my driveway early this morning.
My ‘place of shelter’ was a grove of towering pines, a lakeside bench and a wicker chair nestled in a window-lined hallway at Pokagon State Park in northeast Indiana. An hour from our home, the car ride allowed me to unwind and disentangle. There, in a span of 5 hours, God took me from the ache of R.I.P. to the quieting, the whisper of “Brenda, rest in peace. It is mine to give. Yours to embrace.”
To rest in peace is the hope of heaven. But it’s not bound. It’s not out of reach. It’s within our grasp, here, now, through storm, flood, fire and furnace, through ache, anguish and unknown.
It is ours when the Spirit invaded the consuming darkness. He comes to us with authority to comfort, to hush our racing thoughts, to breathe new life into embers He will not let die.
For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel has said, ‘ You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence… Isaiah 30:15a (HCSB).
R.I.P. or ‘rest in peace.’ Which will it be?
A few quiet hours off the beaten path allows us to exchange one for the other.
First time here?
Welcome! We’re a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”
- It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
- It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
- It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race in a power not our own.