Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
–Matthew 11:28 (NLT)
Everybody loves a vacation. I hope you’ve had the chance to take several vacations during your life so far. Many of the vacations I took with my parents and my husband involved sightseeing, and some included actual tours of historic places, like Stonehenge and the ruins of a castle which we visited in England. I’m a big fan of shopping, so every trip involved stores or a mall in some way. And we can’t forget the chance to try out new restaurants!
These vacations are a great chance to get away from the routine of daily life, and spend some time in fellowship with my family. But have you ever considered that God would like to take a spiritual time-out and talk with you? God is always with you as you navigate this loud and busy world, and He would love to spend some alone time with you.
There are three main reasons for these short vacations with God. The first reason is silence. Besides the constant problems and noise we put up with in today’s world, there is continuous mental chattering going on. We’re always thinking about something that needs to be done, like a school project or housework. Sometimes we become worried about worldly problems, like family illness or economic troubles. Whatever the cause may be, we tend to think constantly about things that anger, worry, depress or excite us. Sometimes we all need to set aside some time to find a quiet place, turn off the phone and quiet our minds. During this quiet time, God can easily communicate with us and make His wishes known to us.
Once everything is quiet as possible, we can enjoy the benefits of prayer, which is the second reason for retreats. God wants you to bring all of your cares and problems to Him, so that you don’t have to carry those burdens around with you. Tell Him all about what you’re going through, and about everything that has been bothering you today. This may sound like a Hallmark card, but it’s completely true.
Whenever I pray and tell God my concerns, I always feel a sudden sense of peace which can’t be explained away. I know that God is working to resolve the problems in my life, and He will gladly do the same for you if you believe in Him and follow Him.
The final reason for retreats is conversation, which often occurs during quiet time and prayer. While talking to God is important, remember to take the time to listen to what He has to tell you. His words don’t usually come in any sensational way. I’ve heard Him speak in a small voice within my mind, which isn’t brought on by my own thoughts. Once, when I was nervous about whether my engagement to Timothy was the right thing, I decided to pray about it. In the midst of my prayer, I heard a whispered voice in my head say, “You are where you’re meant to be.” Since these quiet words were not prompted by my own thoughts, I knew that God wanted me to become engaged, and later married, to Timothy. You may hear a voice as well, or you may suddenly understand how to solve a certain problem or get through a particular situation. God wants your lines of communication to be open in both directions, so take some time to talk with Him.
I know you’re just as busy as I am every day, but I encourage you to spend a little time with God this week. Your retreat could be a few minutes long, or maybe you can spare 30 minutes or even an hour. My husband spends a few minutes every morning reading from the Bible, and we try to read from God’s word and pray for a few minutes each evening. Maybe you could attend a church retreat, or commune with God in your own home. Whatever you do, remember to quiet your mind, pray and talk with God. He will love spending whatever time you can spare, and I believe His words will refresh you and motivate you to work through whatever is on your mind.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You may also send your donation to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870.
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext. 874157.