Some of Mary’s closest friends spent the past few days visiting with us. The girls were a part of a small group together while we were back in Boston on the seminary campus. They have all since gotten married, and their husbands came with them on this visit. There were four couples including Mary and me, and our kids as well. They arrived last Thursday afternoon, and we immediately headed up to my parents’ cabin in Northern Wisconsin on Love Lake.
My wife, being the planner that she is, had prepared a schedule in advanced. She structure almost every minute of the two full days that we were to spend at the cabin. In particular, she scheduled four times of intentional group worship in the morning and evening of Friday and Saturday. We would gather together, sing some songs, and then one of the couples would lead us in devotional by simply sharing with us all that was going on in their lives’. After they shared we would pray for them. Throughout the four gatherings, I connected with these friends at new depths. I got to know them very well, and I came to deeply value our relationships. We had an amazing weekend. It was truly special.
I also intimately connected with God. Whenever I hear about God working in the lives’ of others, I always feel closer to God. I especially feel closer to God when I hear stories of struggle. When a friend is struggling with their relation with God, a difficult choice to make, or they are even doubting God’s goodness, I am still encouraged. It seems like in those stories, I see how God is pursuing us with even greater intensity. I see how close he is to those who are broken or struggling.
It was a great weekend, and I’m sad to see them gone. I experienced the downside of the emotional high yesterday evening. I had a spiritual high throughout the weekend, and I had to come down from living on the mountain top and descend back into the valley of everyday life. Nevertheless, it was still very encouraging, and I look forward to the next time we get together.