Hi everyone, Rob here.
As many of you know David and I went on a fantastic 3 week trip through the USA in August 2014. Originally our intention was to incorporate a Ransomed Heart Boot Camp into our time (You can read more about these events here) but unfortunately it was postponed and we couldn’t go. God redeemed that time in a special way but it left an ache in my heart. I handed that ache over to God trusting that when the time was right to go again I would know. The time has come.
In May I’m heading back Stateside to attend a boot camp and then enjoy a week of exploration, including a long-held desire to drive the Pacific Coast highway. It wasn’t a straight forward decision. In fact it seems to defy all logic. I’m still working on my Master’s thesis and time away will cut into time I need to write. Financially we want to keep reducing our mortgage as well as replace some aging assets, let alone our trip to Sydney next month for a wedding. My wife, Kiley, can’t go, David’s got a different plan and it just seemed that logic was saying, not now. But the ache wouldn’t go away so now what?
The reality is that human logic and God’s logic are only faintly related. In the end I simply couldn’t ignore the fact that I was being summoned. The scripture that kept coming to mind is one of our favourites here at BNH:
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message).
By the end of last year the busyness of work, the pressure of my thesis and the grief of losing my mum left me drained. I wasn’t burnt out or losing faith or disenchanted with life. I was just tired and in desperate need of a rest, but also a fresh encounter with Jesus. Now, I don’t need to go tripping overseas to have that encounter. In fact, Jesus has been meeting with me in beautiful ways this summer, but there’s also a sense that he’s preparing me for a deeper work and I need to get away with him to fully grasp it. He gave me an invitation to look at the trip as a two week spiritual retreat, a time to let my heart be fed with teaching, adventure, beauty, silence and the reality of his loving presence. He then led me to cheap fares and, I believe, my itinerary. I was looking at a map and suddenly knew where I wanted to go. I knew then that God is in this, ahead of this and behind this.
I don’t write this to brag about my trip but to invite you to look beyond the logic of your life and see where God’s summons may be inviting you into something better. Human logic will emphasise stability, security and comfort. God’s logic will contain disruption, risk and possibility. We often think that by managing our lives well we are gaining peace and rest, and there’s nothing wrong with contentment and a peaceful life. God, however, wants to do what it takes to ensure that our rest is in Jesus not our circumstances. He wants us to find our life in his Son, not in our work, family, home or status. That’s the purpose of getting away with Jesus.
You may be a casual reader of this blog or a more committed supporter. Either way I would appreciate your prayers over this trip. The enemy doesn’t want it to happen and he doesn’t want me to be fully engaged when I get there. Please pray against his schemes and for God’s kingdom work to be done in me and through BNH. Please pray that nothing would get in the way of the Boot Camp and that the Holy Spirit has a free rein there. And please pray for yourselves. Ask for Jesus’ invitations and his rest to fill your heart.
Grace and peace.