At the start of this year, few of my friends decided to do a retreat – a day with the Lord. I was so glad that I had that day off work and childcare provision so I could join them. We have done this few times before as well in the last few years. This time it was a bit different as we couldn’t be together in one place but had to connect virtually few times during the day.
We followed the book ‘Alone with the Lord’ by Gordon T. Smith:
‘A personal day of prayer provides a wonderful opportunity to bring focus and clarity to our lives – particularly in the midst of challenges, opportunities and perplexities – and to renew our joy and peace in Christ. The day of prayer is a gift that enables us to make spiritual and emotional space for an intentional encounter with Christ, through which we awaken the presence of Spirit in our lives.
As we remove ourselves from our normal routines and schedules and choose to be alone with the Lord, his Spirit will renew our focus and energy and bring perspective to our life circumstances.‘
I started the day with no expectations and no particular agenda other than just to spend the day praying and connecting with God. It was wonderful to start the year prioritising time with our Heavenly Father. It helped me focus on the things I’m grateful for, things I should be asking forgiveness for and just resting in the Amazing Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The following verse and a vivid image at the back of it really stood out for me:
‘He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.’ Isaiah 40:11
When I read this verse a very vivid image came to my mind of Lord Jesus (the good shepherd) holding the children in his arms, close to his heart and gently leading the mothers. How powerful and comforting is that for the mothers ! Lord Jesus is carrying their babies in His arms and caring for them. He’s holding them close to His unconditionally loving heart. He’s leading the mums gently because he knows it’s not easy being a mum. He knows they could have had a difficult night. He knows they could be struggling with the multiple jobs that come along with motherhood. He knows they could be weary carrying lots of tensions and fears. But we can have comfort that Jesus is leading us mums gently and caring for our babies ! How marvellous is that !
I hope you’ve had a chance to dedicate a full day to the Lord and spend time praying. I cannot recommend it enough. It’ll be good to do that in Lent or start of Spring or whenever you can. I always end up with a clear, peaceful mind and a grateful, hopeful heart after a day with the Lord.