I didn’t go looking for God or revelation. I simply wanted to feel like a “good mom” for an hour or two.
And a morning at the nature preserve was bound to proclaim me as at least adequate. So after negotiating and play-doh making, a few-too-many fits (only half were from me), we loaded up and drove the fifteen minutes to paradise.
I didn’t know it would be so heavenly.
I didn’t know how it would take my breath away and how…
I’d find God…
It’s not so much that God was hiding. It’s more like I had busied myself in the doing and striving and the mustering that I had lost sight of what it meant to rest, to remain, to abide.
It wasn’t until I was surrounded, engulfed by trees and the obviousness of God’s beauty that I let myself be and exhale.
As I breathed—inhale, exhale—inhale, exhale—I was reminded of…
The Spirit of the Living God.
Love—unconditional love for my children and their adventurous spirits. Love for everyone I looked forward to sharing this paradise with. And love shining brightly as light streamem down through the darkness of trees onto His beloved child.
Joy—inexplicable joy. Joy shining on the faces of little ones exploring without boundaries. Joy of a momma experiencing theirs. And the joy of the Father delighting in His children’s delight—knowing that He has something even better in store for them.
Peace—that passes understanding. It’s that deep in the gut—will be with me long after I leave peace. Peace that places like this exist. Peace knowing that they were created by my Father. Peace that comes from expectant hope.
Patience—in-progress patience of an always-on-the-go four-year-old boy. Patience in how he pauses for his sister. Patience in how I tell him over and over, again, it’s time to go home. Patience in how the Lord gently, yet firmly disciplines my heart—leads me here.
Kindness—loving kindness that a Holy God would be mindful of us—that He would create trees to shelter, flowers to relish, creeks to nourish. Oh, Father, I see evidence of your kindness everywhere.
Goodness—every good and perfect gift. It’s the way a little boy jumps into the creek purposefully missing the stepping stones. It’s the little girl digging in the sand with her proudly found stick. I look at them, call them good—just like You, God.
Faithfulness—even when I’m unfaithful. Even when I rush, He pursues me. Even when I try to do it all on my own, He pursues me. Even when I go to make much of myself, He reminds me Who is deserved of my praise.
Gentleness—is there anything gentler than being sanctified by the One who loves us unconditionally? He pursued me with the wind on my face, the joy of my children, and the beauty of His creation. How blessed are we to be loved by You?
Self-Control—Our God is purposeful and intentional. Everything He has done and created has a purpose. I see it all around me. And I will hold onto it as I walk back into a world full of rushing and posturing and pretending.
He’s always been there. I know. And if I wasn’t so busy running, I would have felt Him, seen Him, heard Him. But I silenced what makes my soul come alive in exchange for productivity.
Fear masked as productivity—it seems to be Satan’s (or my flesh’s) weapon of choice.
But my God is bigger. My God is stronger.
And, today, I overcame darkness because He already has.
Where do you go to remember to breathe, to rest, to abide?