Last weekend I was blessed to be the speaker at a weekend retreat for young adults in the Greater Cadillac Area. Here are some personal reflections from my time there:
- I preached 4 times, covering the 4 chapters in the book of Jonah. As one who personally struggles in the area of receiving God’s love, the idea of God’s relentless pursuit of wicked Ninevites, pagan sailors, and a rebellious prophet was significant to me. He will even use severe mercy (ex. a great storm) to bring us to where we need to be. So great is His love for us. I thoroughly enjoyed studying and sharing the book of Jonah and look forward to teaching it again.
- I shared a bit about my own battle with depression and anxiety and was not surprised that so many at the gathering could relate. There is a great need and opportunity for the church to effectively minister to people who are plagued in these areas.
- In chapter 1 of Jonah it was noted that the sailors “rowed hard to get back to dry land.” They were exerting great personal effort to save themselves. I think this kind of self-effort has a lot to do with my own depression and that of others. While intellectually we know that we are saved by grace through faith, there is still the tendency to “row hard” resulting in exhaustion, failure, and guilt. Our relentlessly pursuing God has called us to cease striving and rest in His grace.
- The worship is passionate and sweet. I very much enjoyed the freedom to worship God in spirit and in truth.
- Our community has some remarkable young adults who are passionate in their love for Jesus and His mission.
Hope to connect more with this group in the future. It was indeed a great weekend.