By Marilyn Turk
If you’ve read my previous posts, you know I directed my second writers’ retreat this year.
For months beforehand, I planned, prepared, and promoted the retreat, praying and trusting God to make it as successful as last year’s first retreat. I did all I could, then I had to sit back and wait.
If you’re an impatient person like me, waiting is the hardest part of anything. But I knew that up to a point, I was not responsible for the outcome. God would have to fill in the gaps where I was inadequate. He would have to get the people there – that was one thing out of many that were out of my control.
So the big day arrived and people began showing up. And this is where the story gets even better. God appointed certain people to help me with each area where I needed help. The man and woman who were our greeters last year took over, greeting each guest with a smile and hospitality. The two ladies who ran the bookstore organized the books and sales. The ladies who volunteered to help me decorate grabbed the decorations and placed them in appropriate spots.
But there were a few things I hadn’t covered. And God provided.
1) We needed a techie person to run the slides during our assemblies. I’m not one, and when I attempted, I messed up. But quick to the rescue, one of our attendees jumped up and came over to fix the problem. I asked him if he would be responsible for handling that part of our retreat and he happily agreed.
2) I always forget to take pictures and rely on others to use their phones. But conveniently, an attendee had brought his new “toy,” a camera, and he offered to photograph the entire retreat.
3) We have a prayer basket for prayer requests. I asked a friend who was attending for the first time if she would periodically check it and pray for the requests. A fantastic prayer warrior, she approached me later and offered to pray individually with anyone who requested personal prayer. As a result, she stayed busy with prayer appointments.
The next morning as I met God by the lake at the retreat, I pondered how He had provided all I’d needed, even those things I hadn’t asked for – except for one thing. I’d prayed for 100 attendees and God provided 66. Then I remembered the same thing happened the previous year – I asked for 100 attendees and God provided 66. I smiled as I realized that God provided the number He wanted to attend, the perfect number for an intimate spiritual as well as writing retreat.
1 Cor. 3:6