I just returned from a women’s retreat with my church. We learned about stillness, about setting apart time to just “be” with God. In the meeting room, a giant labyrinth was laid out and each woman was encouraged to find a time during the weekend to walk it.
I hadn’t walked a labyrinth since the year before and I was anxious to take my turn. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I didn’t know what to take in. What did I want to take before God? What did I want to ask or discuss? As I walked up to enter the labyrinth, I felt a need to pause and step away. I asked God what He wanted to discuss. I had two things weighing deep on my heart – some current struggles and some questions of ‘what next’ for the journey God’s taking me on.
God’s got this. What do you need to release – surrender – to God?
God reminded me that He’s got this. He’s got my current struggle handled. He’s all over that and He’s going to be by my side every step of the way. What He really wanted to discuss while I walked the labyrinth was my future. He wanted me to keep my eyes fixed forward and looking out, focused on where He’s taking me. He wanted me to see how He is in control (if only I’ll surrender my own attempts).
God has you encircled in His loving arms, no matter how winding or lost your journey feels.
The labyrinth is contained within a circle, a single winding path to the center and back. It can feel like you’re lost and wandering as you walk, as if you’ve gotten off track and not sure how to get to the center or how to get out.
The path takes you at times closer to the center and other times closer to the edge, so much a mirror for the ebbs and flows of our own faith.
The path may be winding and unclear, there will be starts and stops, times of finding a pace and settling into a comfortable stride, times of slowing down with unsure footing and taking a turn.
If you are encouraged through music, please give this one a listen: “Love is a Circle,” by Peggy Brown. I first learned this song as a teenager when Peggy was worship leader at a youth conference and she taught us this song.
God’s in your past, your present, and your future.
For me, this weekend, God wanted to focus on the future – but remember He’s in your past, He’s in your present, and He’s in your future. The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He already knows your story and has a great plan for you. He is there to work through whichever part needs Him most – to bring healing, comfort, strength, direction, encouragement, and guidance.
I was reminded this weekend that life is a journey – and not often an easy one. Yet, the road becomes easier to travel when we take time to listen to God and allow Him to strengthen and equip us for the next step. When we take time to sit with God, be still with God, just “be” with God – He can renew us, refresh us, restore our faith, and reenergize us to take the next step.
You don’t have to walk the labyrinth to hear God speak to your heart. There are many ways to be still with God, to set apart time to just listen and be in conversation with God (many are discussed in the Pray Deep series). Today I encourage each of you to spend some time listening to God. Release the things weighing heavy on your heart to Him and know that God’s got this. Be still and know that He is God. Trust Him and see what He can do in your life.
“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.'” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17)