Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Question (05/24/12)
TITLE: The Answer
By Yvette Stupart
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I sat waiting for the meeting to begin, and a host of thoughts ran through my mind. I asked myself, “Why am I here?” I arrived for the weekend retreat just over thirty minutes before. But as I sat there I felt a sense of uncertainty. What was the purpose for my coming to this retreat? I was unsure about my role in the scheme of things.
Despite my uncertainty, I went willingly because I felt that God had a plan for me being there that weekend. But I wasn’t sure what it was. I looked around and I saw young adults moving about talking excitedly with their friends. It was a singles’ camp, and all the participants were under the age of 35, it seemed. This was the second year I was asked to assist with the camp, but I had a sense of doubt about being there this year.
As I left for the retreat that evening, I wondered if I was making the right choice to leave my family for the few days. I struggled with issues in my family the weeks prior to the camp, and it seemed that some things just weren’t getting better. But I felt God was urging me to go. But, go for what?
Before the camp ended, I realized that God had guided my steps to attend. He spoke to me as I moved through the sessions and in my personal devotional time during the retreat. I was away from it all, and he finally got more of my attention. He showed me that I was trying too hard make things happen in my own strength, instead of allowing his life to flow through me into the situations I was facing.
My loving heavenly Father gently reminded me that I had his life within me, his own power. I needed to stop trying to deal with the situations in my own strength. For months, I met the situations head-on and I experienced a full range of emotions of anger, sadness and distress. I knew God loved me and had made all the provisions to meet my needs. But I still wondered, “When will this all come to an end?”
During the retreat, God opened my spiritual eyes. I became more conscious of the life of Christ in me. I recognized that the Christian life can only be effectively lived as I allow Jesus to live through me. I was reminded of Jesus’ discourse with his disciples when he told them that he was the vine, they were the branches and they needed to remain in him (John 15: 4-5). In essence he was telling them that they could not effectively exist independent of him.
As I meditated on Jesus’ words, it became clearer that Jesus had been speaking to me even before the retreat. He had been gently telling me to allow him to change me, instead of my trying to change my son. When I gave God permission to change me, then I would be ready to become a channel in which he could work through to positively impact the situations I face.
As my heart became less dominated by the circumstances and the struggles I faced, I began to identify with the Scripture that explained that “in him we live move and have our being” (Acts17:28 NIV). I started to draw from God’s power that he made available to me through his son Jesus Christ. The answer is allowing God to work freely in and through me.
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