Thin Places…

unspash - Blake Richard Verdoorn - text

The early Celtic people believed that there were sacred places on Earth where one could experience God in a special and intimate way. Be closer to Him, if you will. Places where there was a very thin divide between our realm and the spiritual one.

Often these ‘thin places’ were found in the beauty of nature – mountain vistas, forest trails, pristine waterfalls, and along the gorgeous coastline. A place where “the veil between this world and the next is so sheer you can almost step through” (day1.org)

Have you ever experienced such a place? Somewhere you felt particularly close to God?

I love how Rev. Norfleet describes the possibilities…

Perhaps you have a particular place that is holy to you in a similar way: the beach you’ve walked countless times where water rolls onto the sand in a familiar way, a mountain vista that has taken you close to the stars and seemingly closer to God, a home church or family cemetery, or even your own yard or garden. Do you have a place where you can go and feel especially close to God? Or perhaps you can recall a place in time which you can remember and re-visit as a source of spiritual awakening…”

All of the Earth is God’s creation, and yet His presence can be more tangible at certain times, or in particular places. I was blessed to find myself in one such place last weekend – the gorgeous Muskoka region in the Ontario ‘near-north’.

I arrived Friday evening at a retreat centre known as 3 Crosses, for what can best be described as a prayer and ‘listening’ experience.

The weekend began with a powerful testimony by the founder of the ministry, a humble and godly man named Jeff Roy. Jeff shared how, as a teenager, he walked away from the faith he was raised in. He spent the next ten years trying to fill the void within himself with everything under the sun – work, financial success, alcohol, drugs, women and fast cars. By the world’s standards, he ‘had it all’ yet he struggled with an intense dissatisfaction with life.

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.     ~ King Solomon   Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 (NIV)

God pursued Jeff relentlessly throughout those years of wandering. Jeff has story upon story of how God worked through people and circumstances to reveal Himself, and His heart of love for his precious son. One story, in particular, spoke to me about God’s endless patience and love…

Jeff was driving along the rolling hills of an interstate in West Virginia. He noticed a sign on the side of the road that said, “Jesus is Here”. The sign was not noteworthy in any way. It was small and hand-painted. There was really no reason why Jeff should have noticed it.

But God drew his attention.

“Well, if he’s here, I’d sure like to meet him,” he said aloud, chuckling to himself at the ludicrous thought.

As he crested the top of the very next hill, he saw a bearded man walking along the side of the road, dragging a cross.

The shock of it left him in disbelief. He rubbed his eyes, sure that he was dreaming or maybe even hallucinating. But no, the man was there.

Long story short, Jeff stopped to talk with the man who shared how God had prompted him to carry this cross to the East Coast, and had provided numerous opportunities for him to share Christ along the way.

Jeff’s life was never the same.

There is so much more to this man’s amazing testimony – a drive toward the west, a hitchhiker headed to work as a sex slave, a small country church, and a sermon that spoke directly to Jeff’s heart.

What did he learn?

That God speaks. That He relentlessly pursues his wandering children. That it takes a tremendous amount of energy to deny Him, and live a life apart from Him.

We were created for relationship with a holy God. A relationship in every aspect of the word – where we share our hearts with Him, and He delights in answering us, in speaking words of love into our lives, in guiding and fulfilling us.

James 4vs8

Back to the retreat….

It was such a blessing to be in Muskoka. To smell the fresh, northern air. To feel the gentle breeze wash across my skin, and the rays of the sun warm my face. A place of quiet and deep rest, where only the chipmunks seemed to be in a hurry. The outcroppings of rock there are breathtaking, and the light dances across the surface of pristine waters.

God’s country.

I know He is always with me, but I felt Him more closely there. In that ‘thin place’.

It was a weekend dedicated to Him, as every day should be. Three days cleared of distractions, and a heart intent on seeking Him fully.

I was encouraged, that first night, to ask the Lord why He had brought me to 3 Crosses. Here is an excerpt from my journal…

Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity to have this focused time to meet with You, listen to You, rest in You. I know my reasons for coming here Lord, but why is it that you have brought me to this place?

I sensed Him answer…

My precious child. I love your tender heart, your desire to meet with me and listen to my words. Your love for me. I want to bless you for your obedience in these things, and show myself to you in a new and deeper way. 

I look forward to sharing some of the things I sensed Him speaking to my heart. He, of course, was true to His word – and blessed me beyond measure with His words of love.

May God richly bless you, dear one, with His peace that flows like a gentle river and may His righteousness roll over you like waves in the sea,

Kamea

For more information on the 3 Crosses Retreat Centre in Muskoka please visit 3crosses.ca ~ I would highly recommend the experience!

Advertisements

24 thoughts on “Thin Places…

    • Sweet Liz,

      It truly was an amazing weekend. God knew I needed such a time of refreshing and experiencing His love for me. The struggles with my family continue, and are so difficult to manage.

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

      Like

  1. Love it. God shows up when we want to see him, doesn’t he Kamea? He comes when we seek, when we put ourselves in a stance of wanting to behold him. I love this post because I get a glimpse of your heart. What joy it brings! Cheering on your truth today from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sweet Kelly,

      He is so faithful! He knew how much I needed to hear from Him, and to have a time away from the pressures of my family. He promises we can behold His beauty, and seek Him in His temple. His temple, which is now in us – the glorious mystery, Christ in us, the hope of glory!

      Blessings dear friend,
      Kamea

      Like

    • Welcome Dearest Katie,

      May we all be reminded to seek God. He has promised that if we seek Him, we will surely find Him! He longs to bless his precious children with His words of love. We need only to listen.

      May God richly bless you with His lavish love and affection,
      Kamea

      Like

  2. Awesome post, Kamea! Your words have made my heart smile and I felt a great sense of peace the entire time I was reading.Thank you so much for sharing this! And I’m definitely going to check into the 3 Crosses experience. Infinite blessings to you, Love! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • My sweet friend,

      I’m so glad that your heart was blessed and that you could feel God’s peace through my words. His peace was certainly present in that beautiful place. It was a wonderful experience to hear His words of love, poured out in abundance.

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Word says He sings over us… sounds like a song has been echoed in the quiet you found, Kamea, and sung over you. Just you and Him. Beautiful! The song He sings over us can be carried around in our hearts, and when the going gets difficult, pull out the very truths He sang just for you this past weekend, and fortify yourself there!
    The whole thing sounds wonderful… I hadn’t heard of this particular retreat… I look forward to hearing more.
    Hugs, girl! Glad is was an amazing time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, He was surely singing over me that weekend, sweet friend. Thank you for the reminder that there is purpose in the experience, that goes far beyond the moment – that I can draw strength from His words of love in the times of chaos and struggle!

      I’m not in the habit of asking people to read particular posts, but because you live in the area, I thought it might be of interest. Thanks for checking it out!

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

      Like

  4. Hi Kamea! Your retreat place sounds wonderful! I’ll check out your link for it. What a grace to be in a place that is so quiet…in a world that is so noisy! What a blessing to hear the words of the Lord in your ear, telling you how special and loved you are.

    I hope you got the answers you were looking for, as I know you were given grace upon grace. I feel more peaceful just from reading about it!
    Seeing that man carrying the cross! Wow! I wouldn’t know what to think?
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ceil,

      The experience truly was wonderful. I was blessed with quiet, with the chance to “Be still and know that [He] is God”. To hear the still, small voice whisper words of love.

      The testimony about the cross carrying man really is quite amazing. To me, it spoke of God’s infinite patience for our questioning, and for His willingness to do what it takes to draw us unto Himself. He has already done more than enough – that He would be willing to do more anyway displays the depths of His great love.

      Blessings sweet friend,
      Kamea

      Like

  5. Kamea, I’m so glad you had an opportunity to meet with the Lord in a new way, listen more closely to His voice and be rested and refreshed by the experience. It sounds wonderful! Although I spent a week ‘on retreat’ at a local Anglican convent centre a couple of years ago, I have only read about those ‘thin places’ and the impact they can have when people go there, and have yet to visit one. But I’ve also heard that the places where we meet regularly with the Lord (yes, even a favourite chair in our home) have the potential to become a ‘thin place’ because of His presence continually there with us.as we pray. That thought encourages me as I seek soul-sanctuary at home these days! May you continue to be blessed as you reflect on your retreat experience. 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for drawing this distinction, Joy. I definitely do not want to mislead anyone to believe that to experience God deeply, that they have to go somewhere special. The Bible is clear – we are God’s holy temple. He lives within His children. He has opened the way for us to commune with Him intimately – any time or any place. The retreat and the prayer walk were powerful because of the condition of my heart – fully surrendered to Him, intent on hearing from Him, humble, and expectant. That can surely happen in the quiet of our own living room as well. Your words are wise. Thank you for sharing. I hope that my intentions are now a little more clear. How wonderful that you seek Him at home, and that He can be found anywhere. He is always with us!

      May God richly bless you, friend,
      Kamea

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kamea,
    I’m happy you had a chance to experience God in a deeper way in such beauty…it sounds like God spoke love to you and I look forward to hearing more about it…I always am grateful when I can be by the ocean or among the beauty of God’s natural creation 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sweet Dolly,

      There is just something about the ocean isn’t there? So powerful, yet calming. I sense Him there as well. I look forward to sharing more of what He spoke to me as well. Exciting to cultivate such intimacy with a holy God!

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

      Like

  7. Kamea,

    It sounds like a beautiful experience! I have found those places at various times in my walk with Him. I love this time of year when I can sit on my back patio, watch the birds, and read my Bible. My sweet husband works hard to make our backyard that haven for me.

    I loved the truth in this statement, “That God speaks. That He relentlessly pursues his wandering children. That it takes a tremendous amount of energy to deny Him, and live a life apart from Him.”

    I wanted to return the visit after I read your comment on Soul Survival. I’m so glad I did!

    Blessings,
    Donna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome Donna,

      This time of year is my absolute favorite – new life from seeming death, bird songs, and gentle breezes. Everything growing and becoming beautiful! How wonderful that your husband has created a haven of rest for you in your backyard. Such a blessing!

      The truths that God speaks, and pursues us relentlessly are very powerful. He loves us deeply with a perfect and holy love.

      Please stop by again soon,
      Kamea

      Like

    • It was absolutely amazing. Everyone in the room was captivated. I agree that it is so reassuring to know that He pursues people. It is freeing to remember that it is God who draws people unto himself – may we ‘listen’ for times He may invite us to participate in what He is doing, but the results are in His hands!

      Blessings and hugs,
      Kamea

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s