Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Little Piece of Heaven on Earth

This morning when I woke up I had a beautiful sight outside my front windows. A thick mist hung over the water while the sun came beating down around it. I could see the island across the way peeking out of the mist and the picture was just stunning. "Good Morning, Lord," I thought as I ran for my camera. I wanted to capture that sacred moment to savor later.

Summer has all but eluded us here in our fair little corner of Washington state. Just the other day my friends and I were speculating that Spring had skipped over Summer and gone straight to Fall as we found ourselves wrapped in sweaters and blankets in August! But this morning the sun was streaming in my front windows, so I decided to have some quiet time with the Lord in Nonna's old rocking chair right in the sunlight.

I never imagined the sacred time that I would have there today. But even as I prepare to share it with you, I'm feeling a little stingy with the memory of it. Even so, it is an important moment to put down in writing because, just as I wanted to savor the beautiful sight outside my window, it is a lesson for all of us to savor every unexpected blessing in our lives.

As I sat down with my journal and the Bible study I am just finishing, I looked at the topic of the week which is about God's calling on our lives. So my first words to my Lord were about the blessing of having had a lovely time with the Ladies Summer Study which met for the last time last evening. As I looked around the room at those ladies who had been consistent and finished well, I was struck by the personal relationships I've had with all but one of the women. Each woman there represented a study or ministry opportunity that God had led me to since moving here three years ago.

Each precious face marked a milestone of growth, certainly in my own walk, but also in their own. And the one woman whose face I am just coming to know represents the potential for another relationship and growth in the body of Christ. Remembering those faces and the realization that God had gathered those women for a special time this summer, the words spilled out, words of gratitude and thanksgiving for the gift of His faithfulness in my life. Words that acknowledged Him as the author of my life and ministry and words of repentance that until last night I had, at times, not been as grateful as I was at this moment.

For months I have been questioning whether I was seeing His direction in my life, whether He was at work in guiding me toward deeper commitment to His work, and because my husband has been out of work for the better part of a year, I was beginning to wonder why He wasn't showing us where He wanted us. But all of those doubts and worries fell away this morning. As I realized how truly blessed I have been to be a part of His work right here where I am, and as I felt His loving arms embrace me and comfort me, I felt like His precious daughter, safe in the lap of her Daddy. I felt freedom to pour out my heart and my tears, to share with Him how much I love Him and want to be the daughter who runs to Him and grabs His hand and says, "Look, this is my Daddy!" And I buried my head in His chest and apologized for doubting Him and begged His forgiveness. And then in a final and sobering moment, I told Him that I never want to be the daughter who brings Him shame and embarassment. He just held me a little closer and let me cry until I was ready to crawl down and get on with my day.

This was a sacred moment indeed. I honestly don't know that I have ever felt this close to my Father God. But for a brief time I truly felt that the gap between heaven and earth was non-existent. I still have questions about what the next steps are on the path He has me on. And as I opened my book to work on my homework, I read the chapter title "Finding God in Unlikely Places." I laughed out loud as my tears turned to utter joy. How like my God to give me one last assurance as He turns to let His other daughters spend time in His lap! Although I still have questions, I certainly have no doubt that I am right where He wills.

Psalm 37:23-24
The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
And He delights in his way
When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.

Praying that you, too find God in unlikely places today!


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