Waters of refreshing & a safe haven for hearts that are weary or battle worn, these are the two lines that keep going around in my head.
Today as with every day I walk in our city park, but today was different…today it wasn’t just for the exercise it was for my soul…today I chose to walk at a slower pace deliberately seeking some tranquil moments…realizing it’s only when I quiet the clamor of the outside world that I can hear the whisper of God’s voice giving me new direction.
The sky was overcast, grey and felt dreary as I walked. It matched what I was feeling inside……not depressed, just tired, weary, battle worn….I longed for some reprieve, for some sunshine….as I walked my thoughts turned to the Lord as they usually do when I commune with Him…but today, no words came…all I could say was Abba…and the moment I said Abba, the clouds parted and the sun shone through in all its brilliance marking the path ahead of me with light…..a magical tranquility took over.
The trees were a canopy of green covering me and offering their shade and beauty, but the sun was able to penetrate even the thickest foliage and coverage. As the sun created a dappled effect through the trees I saw what I had been too busy in my thoughts to see before; the lush ferns and undergrowth shone many brilliant shades of green, the birds were singing the sweetest songs, and wild daisies and clover waved in the gentle breeze, and the smells were alive- there is nothing like the smells of a forest tickling the senses.
I stopped by the gently flowing stream and stood with my eyes closed listening to the sound of the comforting water flowing. It was here the Lord spoke to my heart….and I heard Him. All sights and sounds faded as my Lord whispered to my spirit.
He asked me to bring my heart, my disappointments to Him. He asked me to lay at His altar the expectation I have of myself to always be strong realizing instead He desires to make me into a woman of strength…and there is a difference….would I allow the disappointments in my life to strengthen me and teach me to respond to life in a loving and forgiving manner?…would I allow Him to whisper words of hope and encouragement into my ear that this season shall pass?
As I quietly laid at His altar my disappointments and striving and brought them into the light of His promises and blessings I reconnected with my Abba again…striving?- but Lord, didn’t I lay that at the altar years ago?…again His whisper- yes daughter, but there are always new seasons with new expectations and demands, new problems and pain, yet with every season there is new hope….just as the sun comes up every morning, even though sometimes it is hidden by the clouds, each day will bring you a new ray of healing and renewed beauty…. as the soothing sounds of nature surrounded me and the water lapped around the edges of the river bank within moments I sensed the Holy Spirit washing over me and I felt cleansed and a new feeling of well-being washed over me this Scripture came mind, “He has made everything beautiful in His time.”
And then He asked if I would trust Him in this confusing, often lonely season? Would I trust those I love to Him? Would I trust that He knows my future and that He is good and trustworthy? Would I trust Him to redeem this season, to bring beauty and goodness in the midst of it and out of it? I said yes to the questions in my head…but I asked that He birth it in my heart as well….
….I took my time not wanting to go home and the busyness of life, I wanted to savor this moment…and when I did finally get home; it is no coincidence that this was what I read in my devotional. “If you are in great pain right now, I want to encourage you to hang on. Just as a new day dawns every twenty-four hours, there is also an unshakeable promise that your pain will turn into joy, and your ashes into beauty. Some pain is with us for only a season, and if we persevere through it, we will recognize that God does have something glorious waiting for us-even in this lifetime. Can we trust that the different seasons we go through God will redeem, that some He will use to teach us something, some He will use to bring our healing, some are for building our character, while others are simply painful…but we must believe there is also a season of blessings and beauty. The Scripture was Eccl: 3:11, “He has made everything beautiful in His time.”
Abba, thank you for all the wonderful promises that gives us hope. I praise and thank you that this life is not all there is, and that you have wonderful plans for our lives- not just the here and now, but in the glorious future that You have already prepared for us. May we see each incident in this life through the eternal perspective of Your promises…
….it is when I pause and look up that I see the sun breaking through the clouds and I get a glimpse of the glorious sky…I see the luminous blue summer sky once more….it is when I quiet my heart long enough and look heavenward that I hear Him speak and become aware once again of the majestic magnitude of my God, the Creator of heaven, earth and my soul. When I quiet the clamor of the outside world I can hear the whisper of God’s voice giving me new direction and hope. He sustains me.