Waking with a start I rose onto one arm, looked around, and tried to remember why I was in a strange bed in a strange room. And who was the strange person in the other bed? Shaking my head from side to side, to clear the kink in my neck, allowed my sleep muddled brain to kick in. Oh yeah, I know now. My room mate seemed to still be asleep. I could see a smidgen of light around the large draped window. I slipped quietly from my cozy bed and pulled the long wand, revealing the creeping colors just behind the trees that overlooked a shimmering lake.”It's a patio door not a window,” I thought as I looked out, “and two comfy Adirondack chairs to boot.”
I grabbed an afghan from a chair, draped it over my shoulders, slid my feet into slippers and eased the door open. Our God never disappoints . The song 'Awesome God' by Rich Mullins came to my lips as I partook in the communion of sunrise. The yellow glow started at the horizon and became the center with shades of red and gold undulating out from the orange ball that gently crept upward. Day broke so quickly, no wonder we often miss this morning joy. But it found me in full praise mode lifting my hands in praise to my God, the master designer. And so the retreat began for me.
Deanne. my room mate had slipped out onto the patio with me, when I turned, she too was in full praise mode. “What a way to start our morning,”she said.
“Absolutely spectacular,” I agreed.
Breakfast found our group intermingled with two other Christian retreat groups. I was in the buffet line.
“Good morning Jane,” a young man said.
How does he know.. I wondered, then realized I wore my name tag.
“Good Morning, and how are you?” I asked.
“Wonderful,” he said,” We've been getting fed already, best teaching on marriage you ever heard,”
“Oh that is great, this is the setting for God to get our full attention isn't it?”
“It sure is,” he said.
“You two just soak it all in , ok?”
“We truly are, and you ladies enjoy your time as well.”
As I found a spot at the table, Sarah remarked, ”It was nice to get up without two little people hollering Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, and pulling me out of bed.”
“I actually got to sit down and have some devotions this morning before breakfast. I 'sooo' needed this.” Jodi said.
Hearing them chatter and smile, faces animated and excited, thrilled my heart.
“Thank you Lord for this retreat. They will recapture their hearts as the theme says,. I know you will bless them.”
(Morning session near close)
….....“Just when I thought John was going to fully walk again after being run over by the car, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. This was almost more than I could fathom. I said Lord you brought me through breast cancer, and I had to lay my life on the altar and give it to you. Then you gave it back Lord . You gave it back whole once more. Now I had to lay John on the altar. I knew that if God took him even my livelihood was gone, as I managed the office in our two person operation.
I had to dig deep in God's word and in prayer, my brothers and sisters in Christ came along side us in earnest prayer and with help of every kind.
At last in gentle whispers to my heart our loving heavenly Father said,” Trust me, my daughter, it's the only way to come through this.”
And I placed John in Jesus hands. Praise God, He chose to restore John's health through surgery and His care.
He restores our hearts dear sisters.
I looked around at the faces, tears were falling, The Holy Spirit flowed.
The worship leader came to lead. The words and music video clicked along from scene to scene: a flickering candle, a dandelion, a sunrise, a sunset, and the Sun shining its rays over a mountain. One color kept capturing my attention.
The last view pierced me….
Yellow rays of the Sun were the back drop for a simple rough sawed wooden cross. The symbol of God's great love and sacrifice for even me.
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