I just got back from spending three and a half days in the mountains of Colorado with some of my favorite people. What a trip! I’m going to share a few highlights here, mostly so that I can keep record of them, but also to whet your appetite for what’s available when God is involved.
I thought I’d start out with a couple of stories of God healing.
The first story is about a man I’ll call LJ. LJ has suffered for years with intense back pain for the last 7 years. He’s had several back surgeries (3 if I remember correctly) and nothing has really helped. I don’t know exactly when his healing happened, but I do remember him saying that he was pain free for the first time in a long time after some people prayed for him. And he proved it. I really enjoyed seeing him run up and down stairs with a smile on his face. Jesus is so good.
Another story is from a friend of mine. His back was really jacked up – his hips were out of alignment, causing his left leg to be about one inch shorter than his right and this led to pinched disks and nerves, inflammation and lots of pain. After 6 hours of travel sitting in a car and plane, he got to the Ranch and we dove right in to the retreat. I got to pray for him one night while he was laying on the floor and I felt/heard his hips pop. I kept my hand on his stomach and prayed for his body to come into alignment with God’s template for it. I got a call from him this morning after he visited his chiropractor — except for a few lower lumbar adjustments his back was completely restored and his hips were level and balanced. His chiropractor said that it would have taken 4-6 weeks of treating him 3 times per week to see that kind of change, yet Jesus did it in about 30 seconds and kept it in place for an entire weekend and 6 hours of travel home. Absolutely stunning in my opinion. He’s going to send me his X-rays in a few days and I’ll post them here.
Another friend of mine came to the Ranch for the first time. I remember him telling me how nervous he was that nothing was going to happen, which I totally get. When you hear so many stories about people having life changing encounters with God in a particular place, it can be stressful. We can start to think things need to look a certain way and that if nothing happens, then something is wrong with us. Happily, my friend had several profound encounters with God. It was super fun to see his countenance change from head down and nervous to head up and care free. Seeing this change in my friend reminded me of God’s Goodness. He really is better than we think.
I also had a neat encounter with God this weekend. I was journaling one morning and really in need of a reminder that God saw me. I happened to be writing the word “revelation” when I got a ping from Holy Spirit. I processed what God was telling me for a little while and then carried on with my day. A few hours later, in a staff meeting, Matt handed out some gifts he had gotten for the staff. As soon as he opened his bag, I saw a small metal box with the word “revelation” printed on it. I thought, “That’s mine!” Sure enough, Matt handed me the box. I don’t even remember what he said about it because I was caught up in an intimacy moment with Papa. I was floored that he not only saw me, but that he had set me up. I was amazed that days beforehand, God had told Matt to pick up this particular item for me, knowing that I would journal about my desire for him to reveal himself to me and that this one particular word would mean so much.
Letting Go of Doubt
The last highlight I’ll share is also a personal story. I went into this retreat emotionally beat up. I had lots of questions about God’s Goodness and Power, even about his existence. I had so many questions I wanted answers to and was spiraling downwards into doubt and depression. One night at the retreat, after some really incredible moments of teaching and worship, I found my heart really heavy. I went downstairs and laid under the pool table to complain to God. Through the help of Holy Spirit and some friends, I was able to come to the realization that my doubts and questions just weren’t helpful. None of them were leading me to love Jesus more or live a life of joy — just the opposite. So I set them aside. I gave up my desire to control and understand and took up once more my trust in God’s Goodness and Kindness. It feels really good. I feel really good. Sometimes questions are good and lead us into deeper encounter with God and sometimes questions make us feel like a turd in the toilet, swirling lower and lower until we find ourselves in the sewer. Some questions just aren’t helpful. Discovering that was intensely liberating for me.