Sunday, July 29, 2012

Come to Me All You Who Are Weary

In Matthew 11:28 Jesus beckons all those who are weary and heavy burdened and promises rest. This past week he made good on His promise in a delightful little camp nestled next to Lake Michigan.

It had been a long two years since we last stepped foot on the grounds of Camp RKD. I have learned that you can make idols of people and places as easily as you can things, and so I scarcely allowed myself to imagine how it was going to be when we returned to this haven on the shore.

My expectations were high. I made a concerted effort to lower them. I needn't have bothered.

It should not surprise me that the place I first saw true glimpses of God is where He would offer such deep rest and refreshment after a challenging year.

Sometimes you don't know how empty you are until the fullness takes over.

This past week we were blessed with lingering conversations with friends old and new. It never ceases to amaze me that on any given day or night you can encounter another person you've never spoken to before and find youself in a kind and warm extended family. Those who know I have quite a bit of extended family in this area should know I'm talking about the non-relations. Though it was also special to catch up with several of my cousins and their extended families, which span generations not easily explained without a very large tree graphic.

There aren't many times in my calendar year that the pace slows to the time kept in Arcadia, Michigan. I had no cell reception, no TV, no wi-fi and no worries. I watched my oldest daughter put together a 1000 piece puzzle and take second place in an archery tournament. I enjoyed seeing my twins reunite with summer friends and make new ones, including many offspring of the teenagers I knocked around camp with some 30 years ago.

I went to the beach every day. We looked for Petosky stones (and found some!) and played in the water that was almost 80 degrees. That doesn't often happen in a great lake.

We ate ice cream in the old fashioned parlor, played cards and read books. We saw shooting stars and the moon up close through the brand new, donated telescope. We gazed at countless shining stars strewn across a velvety black sky that never grows so dark above the bright lights of Chicago. We square danced (though it was often in a circle) and jumped in the lake afterwards.

We sang and prayed and wept a little and laughed a lot. We were reminded about God's grace and filled with gratitude. We capped the week off with the very first service in the brand new Chapel on the Beach - an outdoor sanctuary that has been years in the making which now provides the heavenly view depicted in the photo above. We took our weary souls up north and laid our burdens on the Lord.

And He gave us peaceful rest.

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