Just when you thought you knew what God was up to He demonstrates that you have no idea whatsoever. One of the most amazing things about this weekend was that God is not in a hurry. We might be, but not God. God is able to work out His plan on His time without any help on our part. On the first night with this group I began to “size up” several of the participants. In general there are two types of people that end up at these kinds of retreats: Those who think they need it and those who think they don’t. The first will find the weekend to be refreshing and memorable. These are the ones that are hungry for something more than than the stale bread of religion. They will be fed by the living bread of Jesus. These who are thirsty for the living waters to spring forth and will be satisfied beyond measure. I am continually surprised at how God is able to do this over and over again.
The second group, however, can sometimes fail to see the point in everything that happens. These are the ones that one wonders about. These are the ones that one looks to God and says, “God, I don’t know how you are going to get through, but I hope that you do.” The weekend is drawing to a close and you find yourself just standing in awe of how God subtly and softly moves in, on and through people. And then all of a sudden, the wave of God’s power crests and the dam of stubbornness is broken. In the end this is what it is. “I don’t need this,” or “I know what’s missing. And this isn’t it,” attitudes are just ripped right out and you begin to feel God’s presence for the first time.
You see I was among the second group. I was a “professional Christian.” How was this weekend going to be any different than all the others? What was I going to find that I didn’t already know about God? You see, that’s the problem. This weekend wasn’t about getting to know or learn something else about God. No, it was about knowing God as He is. We all who are a part of this journey of faith must battle the attitude of Job within us. It is not enough to have heard of God. For when we see God for the first time, that moment will imprint itself within your mind, heart and body. You will yearn for it. You will seek it, for you will understand that only in the presence of your maker is life to be found.
The beauty of God’s hand stripping away every conception that is not in line with His character, purpose or plan is freedom. That is what Paul said to the Galatians, “For freedom Christ has set you free” (5:1). God sets us free so that we can enjoy the freedom that He provides! For it is only then that we are able to truly enjoy God.