Nancy writes of her time as the keynote speaker at a women’s retreat this month in Wellington, South Africa, about a two hour drive from Cape Town.
In Psalm 90:14 Moses makes this request – “Satisfy me in the morning with your unfailing love that I may sing for joy and be glad all my days.” Studying this verse has both challenged me and brought me comfort. It was also the theme verse for the Unfailing Love Oasis Conference that I recently had the privilege of speaking at.
Set in the beautiful mountains surrounding this little farming community, you could just look out and see the beautiful wilderness. From dry and dusty, rock covered hills to forest covered mountains, it was the perfect setting as we discovered that Moses wrote this verse during his wilderness experience.
Truth was shared as we looked at the fact that we are all in our own wilderness experience, somewhere between freedom from bondage (salvation) and the Promised Land (heaven). This Oasis Conference was for women who are involved in their church and was sponsored by the Network of Women in Evangelical Ministry. It wasn’t a salvation message they needed, it was encouragement to persevere in the place where God has them.
Being a “woman in ministry” myself, I felt a close bond to these ladies who needed an “oasis” experience; a time to step out of the wilderness for just a bit and be refreshed. God was so good to provide the uplifting food of the word, the living water of the presence of Christ among us, and the ministry of the Spirit who was busy taking the Word and applying it to the hearts of these women, many who came broken and hurting.
I was particularly challenged by the study of being satisfied alone with God’s Unfailing Love because, honestly, I knew I couldn’t relate to the lives of most of these women. For some, their only knowledge of true love comes from the Father, and their life experience is so far from that love that they have cause to doubt sometimes. In one of my sessions I was asked the question, “What if I do everything you say I should to love my husband and he beats me anyway?” At one point I was holding a woman who was literally despondent, crying out to God to intervene in her situation. Words were not the answer, but I prayed that she would know my arms around her as the arms of a Father comforting his child. We never spoke of her troubles, but the next day she looked so much better. I told her we could talk if she wanted. The following day, she didn’t even look like the same person. It was amazing! She came to me and thanked me for being willing to speak with her, but that God had spoken to her through His word and she felt she had received what she needed to go on. Wow! What a great example of just how amazing He is. Her situation did not change, only her perspective of her heavenly Father and His unfailing love for her had made the difference.
This three day retreat seemed to be just what we all needed. I came away reminded again that I don’t have to walk in the shoes of those to whom I minister – the Word of God and Truth are what everyone needs. It is powerful and effective to do God’s work in our lives. What a privilege is mine to be used of God in this way. I praise His name!