You will hear and see happiness, excitement, joy, and hope from the families we are serving. That’s why we’re all here. In addition, you will also see sadness, despair, tears, and probably anger and resentment.
Regardless of whether this is your first retreat or you can’t remember how many you’ve served on, what you’re getting ready to do will be hard. The families you’ll be serving are experiencing a serious illness or a recent death of a parent of young children. Some of them may have other serious things they are facing.
We offer them love, hope, optimism, fun, and memories, but we also need to keep in mind that they are suffering.
Where do we get the strength to meet these families, feel some of their pain, and then help them have fun, enjoy themselves, and develop hope? It comes partly from supporting each other, and I hope you will take full advantage of that.
But the major strength we get is from God.
Every day, we all need to ask for God’s help and strength to meet each family’s needs and we need to listen to Him as He tells us how to best serve them.
Let me share a few verses with you:
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13
As we go to meet these families, let us pray:
Lord, thank You for bringing us here and giving us the privilege of serving these families. We know You made us to do hard things. Give us the strength, the wisdom, and the endurance to do these difficult, but wonderful things. It is in Your name we pray. Amen
Mike Harle is an Inheritance of Hope facilitator. He originally shared this devotional with the San Diego Legacy Retreat® team in May 2022.