Reclaim uses the wild to lead men to an encounter with the Truth of who Jesus is and who He created them to be as men!
Remember Derek? Last year Derek had a life changing experience on our Wilderness Intensive…here is another part of his story and how God is Fathering him into the man He created Derek to be!
I recently was blessed with the opportunity to escape to the wilderness. When I say escape, I mean take a step back from the craziness of life; remove myself from everything comfortable that I know so well and escape to a different style of life. I didn’t realize how desperately my soul needed this restoration.
One word that summarizes how I’ve felt the past six months is tired-tired not just in my mind but also in my spirit, my soul. Trials of different kinds had come at me and had taken their toll. People at work and at events outside of work asked me questions like “is everything ok?” and “You don’t seem like yourself, is something else going on?”. My response was always something along the lines of “I’m doing well but work’s been crazy recently”, but that wasn’t the full story. I felt stretched thin and my tank was at half capacity on a good day, but I kept digging deeper to get the next thing done. “Just one more day” was a common thought that came into my mind…But one can only keep this up for so long before it catches up with you. I was in need of some rest and I knew it.
A couple friends and I planned out a 4 day backpacking and canoeing trip to Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada over the 4th of July and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I had worked multiple 50+ hour weeks leading up to it and my responsibilities seemed to keep growing. But as I left work and drove to my friend’s apartment the night before we left I had a conversation with God. I thanked him for the opportunity to go, and I prayed that he would restore me on this trip.
After the 9 hour drive to the park, I had a sense to leave my phone, wallet, and keys in the car instead of taking them out on the lakes with me.This was uncomfortable at first but it was an amazing gift. As we rowed in our canoes towards our campsite, I felt a freedom that I hadn’t felt in a long time-the sun was shining, there was a slight breeze, the water was calm, and we were embarking on an adventure. It’s incredible what a few days out in the woods can do for your soul. Being in creation changes your perspective; when you have to canoe out to the middle of the lake to gather water, carry a 5 gallon bag to camp, then pump it through a filter one liter at a time for the group to drink from it you have time to think. To breathe. To just…be. There wasn’t a strict timeline, no meetings to go to, no emails to catch up on. Just pumping water, preparing the next meal, and avoiding the swarms of mosquitoes that were rampant this time of year. Psalm 46:10 came to mind during some of the quiet times, and I remembered reading in a book somewhere about meditating on the first part of this verse. It was to read the verse repeatedly in a slow manner-something like this:
Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know
I made some great memories from this trip and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be restored in creation for a few days. God brought healing-not just mentally but spiritually as well. Being out in nature puts things in perspective-we realize how small we really are; how we are just a part of this world and not the center of it; how there are so many things out of our control, and how the Father is greater than we can imagine. Looking up at the stars and seeing the milky way across the night sky one evening made me realize how the heavens really do declare the glory of God. How our heavenly Father is in control, and He loved us enough to come down from His heavenly throne to come to Earth and die for our sins.
After the trip, I noticed a change after coming back into my normal routine the past couple of days. My perspective has been different-the things that seemed insurmountable and overly stressful before now take a different place in my priorities. I have taken some time to breathe and to be still when things get crazy. And I know that in the grand scheme of things, God is in control. He is Fathering me through the trials and I can trust Him-whether it’s canoeing on a lake in Canada, or during a meeting in Ohio.
I hope you also have the opportunity to escape for a few days this summer-your soul needs time with the Father. He truly does restore your soul.