I love the God miracles that happen when we create space for Abba in our lives. Below Valerie Snoeyink, one of the volunteers at the Wooden Shoe Motel shares a powerful God moment.
“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and
taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:30
When you live in a motel room, a quiet place is very hard to find. Some go out and sit in their cars. Some disappear inside their phones. Some escape in a cloud of weed.
This past Tuesday night, we loaded up 9 of the middle school/high school kids who live at the hotel and headed to a local natural area in search of quiet. It was a gorgeous fall day in Michigan—75 and sunny with a warm breeze and a hint of color in the Maple leaves.
As the kids tumbled out of the vehicles, the groans and moans began, “What are we doing here? I’m too hot. I can’t climb that hill. I want to go back.” But we continued on the trail.
The path crested at the top of a large sledding hill with the woods below us in the valley. We unfolded the patchwork quilts that we had carried with us and spread them over the grassy hilltop. We all flopped down and laid on the quilts, eating snacks, soaking in the beauty around us, and enjoying each other’s presence.
As we read Psalm 46 together, “The Lord is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble,” I heard someone mutter, “God doesn’t listen to my prayers.” It was Myra*, a mother who had come with her children. In her anger and pain, she poured out the burden of her husband’s alcohol addiction and the havoc it was making on her and her children. She prays to her gods and nothing happens.
Then, one by one, the adults in the group shared tear-filled stories of how God carried them through times of trouble in their families with bipolar, rebellion, runaways, addictions, injuries, and broken relationships—even when they didn’t see how God was answering their prayers.
The kids became very still.
It seemed as though all of creation paused to listen.
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted in all the nations. I will be exalted in all the earth” Psalm 46: 10
There, on that hilltop, we poured out our hearts to God in prayer and his Spirit filled us with his presence and He gave us rest.