It was the fall of 2014—less than two months after my wife died.
I wanted to get away to process things, and settled on Cedar Springs (just across the border near Sumas, Washington) as the perfect place.
My goal was to read through the entire New Testament and pray over the course of two days, hoping to meet the Lord in some special way. I figured I’d have to read 31 pages an hour to read from Matthew 1 to Revelations 22.
It was off-season at Cedar Springs. Very quiet. “It was so quiet I could hear my heart beating as I read,” I wrote in my journal.
When something impressed me, I wrote it down. Like the story in Matthew 26:12-13 where a woman poured precious ointment over Jesus’ head, and the disciples were indignant at such “waste”. Jesus told them, “Wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world it will be told what this woman has done for a memorial of her.” It struck me that Jesus takes note of our acts of worship.
In Mark 6:49-52 I read about how amazed the disciples were when Jesus walked across the water to their boat. Jesus had just fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. But the disciples didn’t understand the significance of that because their hearts were too hard to take it in. “Wow,” I thought. “Do I, due to the hardness of my heart, fail to take note of the amazing things Jesus does today?”
On my last day at Cedar Springs I was feeling a bit disappointed that I hadn’t had any earthshaking revelations. Actually, I was feeling a bit of a failure for not being able to keep up to my reading schedule. I only made it to Luke 20! But this entry in my journal tells me what I discovered…
“In my anticipation of this time I found my hope rising that I would meet Jesus in a special way. I was not sure what form that might take. So I read and prayed and walked and read some more. But nothing out of the usual happened.
“This morning, on my last day I knelt by my bed to commit this day to Him. THAT was when my profound moment happened. God impressed on my heart that He was here all along.” As I ate breakfast I listened to Brian Doerksen’s, “You Are My Home”. “You are my home, my one true home. I am safe within the shelter of Your love.” To know that truth and to feel it—now, that’s profound.