Refreshed and Renewed
"God doesn't come and go. God lasts.
He's Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don't get tired,
they walk and don't lag behind." Isaiah 40:28-31 (MSG)
Where do you go to find refreshment and renewal?
What place do you feel closest to God?
For me, that place is Cherry Grove Beach, South Carolina.
I've always loved the beach in general, but this particular beach holds a special place in my heart. It was on this stretch of beach in June of 2001 that I was walking alone and had an honest talk with God, Creator of the Universe, and My Heavenly Father.
At age 30, with two small children, ages 4 and 1, I had come to terms with my new life as a single mom. My divorce would be finalized in just a few short weeks and I could not fathom what my future held. It was there on that beach that I surrendered it ALL to the One who had become my All in All.
I remember holding onto Jeremiah 29:11-13, though I now adore The Message translation:
"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed."
And He did not disappoint.
He amazed me instead.
The Point at Cherry Grove is a place we (my family and I) always walk - the end of the stretch of beach. Just across the way is Waite's Island. It is gorgeous, still mostly untouched by construction. Only a few fishermen with their boats, rods, and tackle boxes line its natural shores.
One of my most favorite places on earth!
This past weekend my husband and I took a quick trip to Cherry Grove Beach and we enjoyed some much needed rest, quality time, and spiritual conversation.
It has become our "bridge the gap" trip between winter and spring! We come back refreshed and renewed, ready to tough it through any last bit of harsh, frigid weather before spring arrives in full bloom.
With that, I am reminded that God is able to bridge the gap between our cold, dark, uncertain seasons into our new, promising, full blooming seasons of growth.
He is the One we must look to for constant renewal and refreshment. Beach trips are wonderful opportunities to celebrate God's breathtaking creation and enjoy His presence, but even if you can't make it to the beach periodically, find a quiet, relaxing spot to spend some time in His Word, talking to Him, listening to Him - just seeking Him with all your heart.
Rest in Him. Bask in His presence like soaking up the sun on a warm, late winter day!
He will refresh you spiritually and you will return ready to soar!
Father God, Help me to remember when I grow weary, when I become tired and overwhelmed, when I simply do not see a light at the end of the tunnel, You are there. You re-energize me spiritually and I am able to rest in You. I take great comfort in knowing that You are the One with the plan and You "bridge the gap" between the known and the unknown. Your ways are always higher and better than mine! I thank You for the special place where I am reminded of Your faithfulness.