Weekend Recap : Establish Your Hearts
I spent the past two days with a group of women from Calvary Sonora, at their annual women's retreat. Nestled among the redwood trees of the Santa Cruz mountains, we found ourselves sipping coffee and breathing in the fresh mountain air; swapping life stories and sharing photos of beloved family members waiting for us at home; and more sweetly, worshipping our Creator, reconnecting with Him and even laying hands on one another as we lifted each other up in prayer and wiped away another's tears.
I began planning and preparing for this particular weekend earlier this summer. While pouring over the worship sets and praying over the women, a scripture that kept coming to mind for this event was James 5:7-8, 13-18.
"Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand....Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit."
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word "establish" means to put someone or something in a position that will last a long time. I love that! This scripture is urging us to position the Lord in our hearts for a long time, because He is coming back for us and when He does, this relationship that we begin here on earth, will continue on into all of eternity.
I believe I witnessed the establishing of hearts this weekend. We dove into God's word, we lifted our hands, hearts and voices to Him and then we examined our lives. We confessed our weaknesses to one another and we shared fears and hurts and we found healing in our honesty. I left humbled by the transparency and encouraged by the fruit that I know is coming from the prayers offered over the past few days.
The beautiful thing is though, that we don't have to be in a cabin in the Santa Cruz mountains to establish our hearts in Him. All it takes is the courage to offer ourselves and all our messes up to Him. The emptying of us and the filling of His Spirit. Offer Him His rightful place - the throne of your heart and watch Him produce fruit in your life. Life is short and life is hard. Establish your heart in Him today, so that the days ahead may be rich.
He loves YOU so very much.