This past week I have been so blessed to find a place of amazing refreshment and relaxation. My wife and I have been vacationing with our grandsons and our two daughters and son in Northwestern Michigan. The use of the cabin where we were staying was a gift from a Christian couple who we met last summer when we went to honor one of our retiring missionaries in Kalkaska, Michigan (more about that next week). The cabin is a 3- bedroom house located on a 20- acre private lake. It is very quiet and secluded here with no Internet service, no cell phone service nor any television service. There is none of the modern-day technologies that we fill our lives with to distract ourselves. So, we are spending our time talking to each other, playing games together and enjoying each other’s company. We have plenty of room for my family plus my daughter Lisa’s lifelong friend Carrie came with her five-year-old daughter to be here for part of week as well. So far everything has worked out beautifully and both Deb and I are experiencing tremendous time of refreshment and enjoyment. The Scripture says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desire”, (Ps. 37:4). Many things are happening in our children lives. Deb was a little concerned that she might have to do too much cooking this week. Then my son Matt arrived and he took care of that concern. Matt, who cooks for a living, prepared meals for us Sunday through Tuesday. Lisa is starting a new job today (Wednesday) and so we are praying for this transition as an answer to prayer in her life. The fact that we could spend time with our children in such a beautiful place is an overwhelming gift from God. The Word instructs us as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ to make sure that we keep a Sabbath rest. As many people don’t practice a regular Sabbath rest it’s important that we get away for times of relaxation and refreshment.
I greatly enjoyed our day on Sunday going to Mackinac Island. Mackinac Island is one of our favorite Michigan places and I very much desired to take my whole family there for a family outing. We were almost all together but Christina (our oldest child) is teaching summer school this year in Jersey City, so she’s not with us. I enjoyed going horseback riding with my grandson Ethan and our daughter Ashley. We also enjoyed the butterfly house there on Mackinac Island. On Monday morning, I had a golf round with Ashley, followed by a trip to Pond Hill Farm which is a very beautiful farm to visit in NW Michigan. All the food that is cooked there is fresh off the farm. I also caught a couple of bass on Monday which were part of our dinner last evening. I hadn’t fished since leaving Michigan in 2004, so this was a very pleasing experience. Matt and Deb took care of cleaning the fish. The grandsons also caught 9 blue gills, that delighted their hearts. It’s now 10 AM on Wednesday morning and my grandsons are still sleeping in. Ashley’s probably on her way back from spending the night with Lisa in Petoskey and Matt’s returned to his job in Bay City. Soon we will be returning to our responsibilities back to New Jersey but we are truly grateful and thankful to God for allowing us to have a special place of reflection, meditation and healing. It is the Lord who renews our souls and brings refreshment and rest from our wearying labors. Let us give unto the Lord Jesus Christ all the thanks and praise for He alone is worthy as He is truly the source of all our blessings.
Pastor Rich Sivo