I love that Jesus encouraged us to go to lonely places and get quiet with our Heavenly Father. The last couple of weeks have been intense with bookstores, speaking events and signing and meeting all sorts of new folks. It was its own kind of blessing, but so too is being called apart to get quiet with God.
Although - when you put 18-20 authors together there is very little quiet.
Even so, we definitely took time to be quiet with the Lord and enjoy just listening to His voice. So what did God say?
He reminded me during the booktour as well as the retreat - that He loves me. That even while I was still wretchedly separated from Him - Christ died for me. I'm blessed and His love is at the core of that blessing. It creates the foundation of who I am and how I look at life.
God also showed me that there are a lot of hurting people. People who love God, but are barely hanging on by a thread. People who long for relationship with God the Father, but also with other Christians. We need to be Jesus with skin on for those who are hurting. It isn't always easy. Sometimes we're tired and weary ourselves. Sometimes we are hurt and bleeding. Sometimes we're just having one of those "bad attitude" days.
However, we are called to encourage and bear one another's burdens. Sometimes that means stopping what we're doing to pray with someone. Sometimes that means dealing with uncomfortable people. The walk of a Christian doesn't always look like what we think it will - sometimes it's about washing feet, sometimes it's about mopping up blood and sometimes - probably more often than we realize - it's about getting alone with God.
If you haven't taken a few minutes or hours - maybe days - to get alone with God, I encourage you to do so. The experience is transforming and eye opening.