Spiritual Retreat: When You Are Desperate For Time Alone With God

“When you are desperate for God, pleading, and He drops Scripture into your Secret Place, you listen, question, watch and wait.”

Tammy L. Mashburn

Dearest Reader,

Have you ever felt depleted? Empty? Desperate for time away with God? I’m not talking about your quiet time, your time alone in the Secret Place with God. I am talking about more, going deeper, resting in Him and His Word.

A week or so ago, I found myself exactly there; in desperate need of a spiritual retreat. Empty, depleted, and desperate for time alone with God, resting in His Word, needing the provision of rest and refilling and renewing.

“When you are desperate for God, pleading, and He drops Scripture into your Secret Place, you listen, question, watch and wait.”

As I sat in the dark early morning, there was a hollow space deep in my soul.

In the midst of crying out, and well, crying ugly tears, the Holy Spirit dropped a passage of Scripture into my aching heart:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message 


I wrote the passage of Scripture in my journal. It wasn’t enough; I had questions. Questions I needed God to answer. It felt irreverent somehow, questioning God. I thought of Moses in Exodus, chapter 33, his bold questions before the Lord.

I remembered the words from the discussion I had with one of my pastors. When I asked about Moses and his boldness before God, he said, “To not ask the bold questions of God implies doubt in our faith.” 

On tiptoes, so as not to seem near as irreverent as it felt, I scratched the words in my journal: 

“Lord, what does this even look like? How can I take off, our car is in the shop, my calendar is spilling over with unmet deadlines? How? There is no way!

And, yes, I am desperate for You, desperate to learn and feel your unforced rhythms of grace.”

I closed my journal and moved through my week, my heart rattling and hollowed out.

Provision Comes

Sunday morning dawned, I tracked off to Worship Service with a heaviness I could not shake. Fact is, I almost didn’t go, thinking if I stayed home I could have a personal retreat.

Putting one foot in front of the other, I walked into our Worship Center, taking notice of the candles, the quiet, the soothing music.

Turns out, this particular Sunday we had a Prayer Service and communion.

Tucked away in the back, God brought me the gift of provision. On the second to back row, He brought me a spiritual retreat. I cried ugly tears as He whispered words of love into my heart. I leaned in and listened, taking notes.

I wanted to remember this moment in time.

I needed to remember that in my boldness, God answered.

In my emptiness, He filled.

In my heartache, He held me.

Dearest One, are you desperate for the presence of God? If you are, I urge you to go to him, pose the hard questions, and believe with bold faith.

Learn from Him his unforced rhythms of grace, and He will lighten your heavy heart.

Gifts of Grace

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I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word is available now. Order your copy today.

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