Celebrating 30 Years of March Retreat, Devotional #23
We hope by now you have received your 30-Day Devotional Guide created by your Flourish Committee. If you haven't, we may not have a correct address for you. You can find a printable pdf version of the Devotional on our website www.theflourishconference.org or at www.cggcwomen.org. Over the next several months, we will be posting each devotional on our blog as well, helping us to celebrate this milestone throughout the year. Today's blog post commemorates the twenty-third year of the March Retreat.
#23 2014 Speakers: Robyn Dykstra Musicians: Michael & Amy Pickering Stretching Beyond
When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to
restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times
or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power
when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in
Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
It was a humid, summer day and the sun was blazing hot already. I don’t know why we waited until noon to climb the tallest brick lighthouse in the US, which boasts 210 feet. We had gone a couple of times before during some of our past summer vacation trips. But this time, our son was finally long-legged enough to charge up the 257 steps of the majestic Cape Hatteras Light House in Buxton, NC. Right about the half-way point, I was winded, and we felt like we were being cooked in an oven. My husband seemed to have more lung capacity and an urge to make it to the top, so he kept going. My son and I paused at a landing to gaze out the narrow window and pace ourselves the rest of the way. Round and round we continued to climb. I was surprised he didn’t complain and found my internal voice asking, “We’re almost there, right? How many more steps? Why isn’t there an elevator?”
Finally, we emerged out a small door onto the balcony, feeling the wind whip through our hair and cool us down significantly. The sky was bright blue filled with puffy, white clouds, and the view of land and sea, combined with the huge smile on my son’s face was totally worth it.
In Acts 1, the disciples are trying to make sense of the past three years they spent with Jesus, and especially the events of the most significant week of His ministry, their ministry. They had seen Him perform miracles, heard him deliver challenging messages, and witnessed His death and return to life. The whole time, they were expecting Him to liberate them from Rome’s control and empower them to take the primary place as the greatest nation in the world. Why wouldn’t they ask Him, yet again, if it was finally time? They had to be feeling a mix of emotions: relief that they still had a chance, now that Jesus was with them again, anxiety over the pressure that remained for their people, and excitement with the knowledge that Jesus could make things happen right then and there. They thought they were ready and that Jesus was finally ready to do it for them. Interestingly, His reply is more of a “wait and see” response, as part of His farewell address. He tells them that only the Father knows both the specific date (Greek word “chronos”) and the season (Greek word “kairos”) that God’s Kingdom would be established by His permission, power, and purposes, which was to include both Jews and Gentiles. But before the disciples were completely deflated, Jesus promises them the power of the Holy Spirit, who would be their comforter, their guide, their source of confidence, and equipping to tell others about Christ’s saving grace and eternal kingdom. This would change everything for their homes and neighborhoods, their cities, their country, and the world!
So, what are you waiting for? What are you anxious about? Where and when do you feel powerless? Is it for better finances, career opportunities, or a better house? Maybe you need healing for a physical or mental health issue? Are you dealing with a relational issue with your significant other or a child? Maybe you already know where you’re supposed to go but not sure about the when? My friend, when you said, “Yes!” to Jesus, you too were given His Spirit. He intercedes for you, gives you comfort and courage, and helps you live an abundant life. God may be telling you to wait and see what He will do, not only for you but for the people around you, whether those in your immediate context or those you have yet to meet on any part of this great big earth. Instead of always asking about the timing, simply ask the Holy Spirit to continue filling you with His power every day, so that your perspective adjusts, and others see Him working through you. Hopefully, they too will become a part of the kingdom of God, and it will have been totally worth it.
Author: Alison Buck