Sometimes I need a reminder. A walk through God’s sanctuary. And no, I’m not talking about a church building, not even the oldest of cathedrals with its stained glass and towering steeples compares to where I am going.
I keep driving, with the windows down waiting for the city smell to fade and a new wild smell to take its place. The smell of pine trees and wildflowers, of earth and streams, and constantly growing breathing life. It beckons me, awakens me as I go, each mile closer to home.
Oh, how I need this reminder. Something that brings the Words of the Bible to life. A memory that will sink in, held captive by my heart to be played back during life’s storms. I had felt the questions rising up again…Is God my provider? Is He truly present? Is God Good? These questions can be natural and can grow our trust, but left unattended they can twist themselves like weeds around our minds until we are too afraid to seek the answers that will set us free.
My hands grip the steering wheel, I will pull these weeds up by the roots! I will set my mind right and leave this sanctuary equipped and ready for battle. And yes, the life I’m driving from is a battle. Beauty and wonder are so essential to truly living. I can forget this, in the day to day grind, and in forgetting I start to feel a void growing, a disconnection from my life source. A gnawing hunger building. A thirst that no amount of city tap water can fulfill.
I pull into the gravel parking lot, I am alone. Stepping out of the car is like stepping into a new world. A blue sky barely visible amidst the tall pine trees. I listen to the birds and the wind dance around me. So entirely different than the hard grey walls of the factory back home. This place is alive.
I set about looking for my reminders…I know they are here. A particularly small chirping sound reaches my ears and I look up to see a birds nest filled with baby sparrows. So expectant are they and yet peaceful, with their eyes closed and their mouths open ready to receive and knowing they will. I can’t help but smile as their mother swoops into view, feeding each hatchling until they are full of grub.
“Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”-Matthew 6:27
The verse played out before me, “thank you, God,” I say aloud. As I continue walking I soon come across a tree stump and sit down. I watch the sunbeams fall on every blooming flower, laugh as chipmunks go skirting around trees with their mouths full of nuts and seeds. A butterfly with wings so beautiful, it’s as if they were made from the finest royal silk, lands daintily upon a leaf and begins drinking dew droplets. Such a masterpiece surrounds me, and yet God set it all into motion for me. Sitting on the stump I start to sing praises to my Father, thanking Him for placing me in the center of His heart, what a love story this is. And it is just the beginning.
As I sing I feel everything stop and listen, the birds whose voices always sing pure and on key, the beating of wings both large and small, the whisper of the trees, a never-ending sound of applause, and as I sing my final tune I hear the Lord say, “yours is my favorite voice amidst these.” A tear trickles down my cheek and lands upon a flower petal, a wild rose. I stand up, no longer hungry, no longer thirsty…no questions left unanswered.
I have been reminded.
God is provider, He is present, God is Good.