After a long time, ICFB got to have a retreat in Mátrakeresztes again! Only few of us were able to come this time, but we definitely had a blessed time in the mountains.
The whole topic of the retreat was change, how we experience, and how we respond to change in our lives. During our almost 4-hour-long, 10K hike in the mountains, we shared how God had spoken to us recently, through Bible verses. One example: Luke 12:22-31 (the passage about not worrying) that when we go through hard times, we don’t know how things will turn out, but we can always have hope in the person of Jesus, (instead of hoping for exact things to happen) that he takes care of us, whatever happens.
In the evening, we had a discussion on the book of Ecclesiastes, with special attention to the famous “there is a time for everything” passage, related to our topic (change). A few of the questions, points we discussed:
- In a book, which many people consider to be fatalistic and sceptical, how is God’s providence illustrated in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8?
- Explain the phrase “He has put eternity in their hearts” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
- What must a man learn in order to be happy with the things he has (Ecclesiastes 6:7)?
- How can we apply what we have learned about the meaning of life and God in Ecclesiastes to our own lives? What changes can we make when we think about the transitions of life?
And in our Sunday morning discussion, we focused on John 16:5-33, a big change in the disciples’ lives, when Jesus told them that he was going to leave them, going to the Father, and that he would send them the Advocate / Comforter / Holy Spirit. We looked at how the disciples reacted, and what we can learn from this change. When in life, something is taken from us, it is natural and normal that it hurts, and also that we feel scared of the unknown. And as the “there is a time for everything” passage says, it is okay to take time and face these feelings and emotions, to go through them. But it is also important to keep in mind that though they are real, they don’t constitute the whole of reality. And it all comes down to trust in the one who knows and takes care of it all.
All in all, we did have an awesome, peaceful, relaxing AND fun time in Mátrakeresztes. We hope you will join us next time (most likely in October/November)!
Welcome to Mátra