“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8
June 27-29th I was blessed to go on a retreat with some of our church’s college ministry, “20-Something’s.” On top of a weekend full of sparklers, laughter, bugs, a giant inflatable slide, and ‘smores, God certainly showed up. We talked about intimacy with Christ and community with each other.
On the first night we read scripture and spent one-on-one time with God. We were asked to write on a big wooden cross what God was speaking to us about intimacy. I wrote, “The uncertainty is worth it.”
I love that retreats give us the opportunity to slow down and spend some serious time reflecting on our faith, who God is, and what He is calling us to. That said, as I really tried to contemplate what kind of intimacy God yearns for, what it would mean to be so close to Him, how so many questions would still be left unanswered, it started to make me nervous. Here’s why:
For example, as I become close to a friend, I am careful not to let a relationship become too intimate before I really understand the content of their heart, what makes them laugh, what matters to them, etc. I don’t want to spill my soul to someone who doesn’t care about me deeply. I don’t like to just jump in blindly.
With God, we’re not quite blindfolded, but maybe our vision is a little blurry and we’ve got some massive blind spots. I’m learning that that’s okay. God does reveal himself in unbelievable ways through His Word, His creation, relationships, the miracle of human life, and the amazing sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So we aren’t completely running to Him with a blindfold on. But there comes a point, if we really stop to consider it, how BIG He is and how small we are. How much we will never understand no matter how hard we try. I don’t know if it’s just me, but sometimes it hits me…this is GOD we’re talking about…the creator of the universe, the King of Kings, the savior of humanity, the One who knows it all and controls it all. It makes my little mind want to explode! And sometimes I wish He’d reassure me a little more about what His plans are (maybe a text or something), and that following Him is the right path. But here’s the thing about God’s hidden will–it’s hidden.
One of the mornings we went on a walk with Jesus in the woods to start the day. Our leader took the whole group and read scripture while we walked in silence and let God do the talking. Our leader read scripture from the back, and one of our group members led us. He got to the entrance of the woods and tried to turn us around, saying “I don’t know where that is going to lead.” Since this was our first time at this camp, I didn’t blame him. Our leader said, “That’s okay, we’ll go anyway.”
I don’t know if this moment was very significant to anyone else, but God used it to speak to me in a mighty way. I realized that God is calling me to enter the woods even though I don’t know where it will take me. He’s saying, “Come, follow me, trust me, I promise it will be worth it.” God told Abraham to leave his country and his family and go to a new land, and that He would bless him. God didn’t give Him a bunch of directions and tell him what it would be like, He just said GO. And Abraham went. On my mission trip to Romania earlier this summer God showed me that if I am willing to take that step towards Him, even if I stumble, He will show Himself in amazing ways.
Even though it’s a little uncomfortable, maybe very uncertain at times, I am learning that in His presence there is fullness of joy. There is a peace that can’t be explained and can’t be found anywhere else. There is contentment in the most unfair of circumstances. In His presence we no longer desire to be accepted by the world and we stop looking for approval from other people. The world doesn’t let us down like it used to, because we’ve stopped putting our hope in people and things and we’ve placed it in the One who never fails. I can’t always explain it, and I don’t always have all the answers, but intimacy with Christ and community with believers is everything to me. I am learning that the uncertainty is part of the deal, and it is more than worth it.