For those of us in the U.S., remember how life came to a screeching halt last March? Families who were used to zipping around, eating out were trapped … together.
God is an expert at restoring relationships, burning idols. Without warning, He removed our ability to spend oodles of money and time on sports, entertainment, dining.
Sometimes in His orchestration, there is waiting for Him to move, to reveal more.
Think of the 400 years of heaven’s silence before Jesus arrived without a diaper or pacifier.
For the last several months, we have covered our faces and clung to those in our safe social distancing midst. Maybe that was a furry friend, or maybe it was your teen who finally sat face-to-face with you for conversation.
With Covid, I believe God restricted our boundaries to draw our hearts and minds back to the only Way, and narrow that Way is.
Jesus is a simple, straight-talker. Even if you don’t understand every parable, He boiled down the law so we all may know. Love is universal, birthed by the Word into our souls. Love, if not nurtured properly, can melt away, like ice on a summer day. Jesus wants us to love, period.
Love God first, then love each other.
A mountain getaway at the tippy end of a Covid tailspin brought me back again to His simplicity, though one would think after Covid I wouldn’t need such reminders.
~a running brook, a constant flow of water, a well that never runs dry
~a puppy who faced his fears of water, teaching us who were watching that sometimes you just gotta do it scared
~Skipbo, a card game bought sometime during Covid but we didn’t take the time to learn it, until we were away from almost every distraction of daily living. Though some of the four of us wanted to give up because the unfamiliar is hard, we as a family unit (minus puppy) persevered until we got it. Skipbo is now a family fave.
~stillness can be anywhere. Yet, we rarely just stop and be still before our mighty and powerful God. Since I began seminary, I have been practicing retreating to my Refuge and Strength when I have a moment. My life’s momentum often hurls me onto a pillow at day’s end when the only stillness I have is behind heavy eye lids. At our borrowed cabin, I literally just had to open the front door to hear His whisper hushing me in the water to be still. Remembering who it is that gave me life in the womb and rebirth at 44. Listening to His stream of goodness. A flow to sustain and uplift. A washing away of angst and burden. A stillness found only at the foot of the Cross, where He gave His life for mine. Stillness doesn’t always mean His water is nearby, but it always means His presence surrounds us as we obey His command to be still and know. Our three-in-one God never leaves or forsakes us.
~the beauty of living this given life is releasing our hands of any control over our circumstances, trusting He has already seen every challenge we face. We conquered and played our first game of Skipbo outside by the fire pit, daytime. My back was facing the pit. Jackson sat across from me. Calmly, he pointed his finger toward the fire hole. Just beyond it stood a langley fox with a cunning face. Jason quietly told us to go inside. Without an ounce of fear, I got up. Unlike Lots wife, I did not look back. The next day I was sitting outside sunning myself. Jason began to walk Rocko around the property. God breathed a thought in my mind: Open your eyes. As I obeyed, Jason was swiftly moving Rocko to the door of the cabin. “The fox is staring him down”. That was the last time we saw the fox before we left. Open our eyes, be of sober mind and stay alert. The enemy is always prowling, whether guised as a mammal or shroud in white angelic hymns. A wolf in sheep’s wool. An imposter. A witch’s broom to stir up trouble.
No enemy of God’s can steal our joy, smores or otherwise.
I am thankful we had zero physical contact with the fox. I am thankful God gave me peace and courage and reminded me to stay alert. I admit I was fearful as I walked Rocko down the lane the next morning.
My eyes were wide open just as my Father said.
In this country, Covid opened our spiritual eyes too, didn’t it? All of us who became comfy in our pews were ejected, scrambled, almost like He did at the Tower of Babel.
We shall not be ever-safe if we are true followers of Jesus. We must stretch beyond the fringes of our souls, where fight or flight kicks in. God understands fight or flight. He created it. But when you call Him Father, your flight is into His arms, your fight is in His strength surrounded by His heavenly army. For we are eternally safe whether life continues on this earth or not.
A mountain getaway gives me a taste of God’s nature with the freedom of being outside of normal responsibilities. Our family connected in fresh ways, with each other (puppy included) and with Him. You may join me for Part 2 where I tell more about that restoring and drawing God did. I plan to write it sometime this week.
Thank you for coming on vacation with us. We are all trying to get back to regular routine, puppy included.
Be strong in Him, not in yourselves.
Love in Christ,