Wednesday, February 19, 2014

If Walls Could Speak

We hung red plastic cups everywhere, each personalized with their name and a note . . . telephones to heaven.  If only it were that simple.

But wait.  It is that simple.  In fact, God is calling each of us by name, calling us to beauty in our brokenness, and joy through the midst of suffering.

Yet, so often we are not paying attention.  We walk around with our ears plugged, the noise of our hectic lives oblivious to God's voice.   The problem lies not in the speaking, but in the listening.

 This last weekend, we tuned our ears toward heaven, and God gripped our hearts.  His Spirit began to do His work.  Saturday morning the air was thick with His presence and by late afternoon it burst into flame as two of our young women put their faith in Christ.  This flame continued to burn throughout the evening while tears flowed soft and lives were dedicated to the Lord.  

The theme of our youth retreat was The Quest for Beauty, based on the examples of Leah and Rachel.  Beauty is such a delicate subject, one that is easily and often taken to lists of rules and legalities.  But God was not leading us to this outward aspect of beauty so much as to intimate relationship with Him.

If we took one thing away from the retreat, I wanted it to be this:  that God is madly in love with us and seeks our attention, wooing us to Himself.  If we answer His call, we will find the greatest fulfillment.  Beauty is the glow produced from this romance with God coupled with a correct response to our circumstances.  

At the start of each lesson we listened to a different song sung by four lovely ladies from The Celtic Women music DVD, Songs from the Heart.  Appropriate, as our study also led us to four women of the Bible whose lives were intertwined in a soap opera that only God could untangle.  We began with The Call and then moved on to The Divine Romance, and at last The Miracle, finishing with Beauty from the Ashes

Later, the guys returned to the girl's cabin for a combined worship service, always a glorious way to top off the weekend.  There we learned of beautiful feet, swift over mountains, to bear good news, who proclaim salvation, and who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"  (Isa. 52:7)

And through these windows, the mountains gave us illustration of beauty.  Shrouded in thick clouds, their glory would seem absent.  Likewise, it is hard to find our way in the midst of pain and turmoil.  But as the morning wore on, the mist began to clear and the sun blazed brilliant.  So behind every trial, praise can distill the fog to reveal the beauty of the Lord . . . if we have eyes to see and ears to listen.   

I end this post with our theme song, a powerful illustration of listening for the voice of God.  I will include some of the words here, but to receive the full effect, click on the song title below and see if it will not touch your own life in a big way.

The same love that set the captives free
The same love that opened eyes to see
Is calling us all by name,
He is calling us all by name,

The same love that spread the heavens wide
The same love that was crucified
Is calling us all by name, 
He is calling us all by name.

He's calling
He's calling
He's calling us to the cross.

(The Same Love by Paul Baloche).

If the walls of our cabin could speak, they would say, "Surely, the presence of the Lord is in this place."   May God be praised. 

No comments:

Post a Comment