It was breathtakingly quiet. Walking along the water’s edge I could hear the water lapping at the shore. I could even hear the sound of the heron’s feet sliding into the water as it stalked past. The sun was warm on my back, the shells making a delicious crunch beneath my feet. I breathed in and out as if to capture in my spirit this serenity that surrounded me. And in that moment I felt my soul sigh as it quietened itself. In that moment, when the busyness of normal life was an hour’s drive away, my soul found rest.
As I walked I let God whisper into my heart. And I whispered back – hopes, dreams, love for Him and worship. I let the peace of His presence envelop me and provide me sustenance. Treasured moments with God.
Having returned from holiday I could be lulled into the false belief that another such precious encounter with God would have to wait for another holiday, another deserted beach when “time” was more available and the call of work and chores can’t be heard. But in the busyness of life these moments are still available to me. They just take a different form. They’re moments when I’m curled up in my chair in my bedroom, a hot cup of tea in my hand and the morning sun resting on me as I read the Bible. They’re moments when I sit at a table in a warm café sipping a flat white and journaling. They’re moments too when as I catch up with friends or linger in a home store and I find God whispering to me – dropping into my heart plans and steps and awakening dreams. They’re moments too when I’m driving to work with the worship music pumped up loud, or am just sitting quietly waiting for the school bell to ring.
Moments – encounters with God – refreshment for the soul – rest for the weary are everywhere. Just pause, breathe and look.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.” (Psalm 62:5)
“Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” (Psalm 116:7)
Being the summer holidays we’ve been having a lot fun and amongst other summer activities we have explored a lot of different playgrounds. No matter the playground though, it is only a matter of time before my 3 year old is calling out to me to “Mummy, look at me! Look at me!” His enjoyment at the playground definitely includes ensuring that there is an audience to watch the slide he will take or the monkey bars he will climb.
In the trials we walk through or even perhaps the mundane that we endure, I am sure that our hearts too sometimes whisper or cry out – “look at me!” Not so much. of course, for the reaction my son was after – the “aren’t you clever….brave….etc.” reaction, but for the knowing that God sees us. Sometimes too in the pouring out when no one else seems to notice or care our hearts cry out to be encouraged, to know that we are seen by God.
I love the story that Bobby Conner shares about giving a lady in her 80’s a prophetic word in front of thousands of people. One that the Lord had told him would give this lady’s life meaning and purpose. I could imagine the excitement – what noble, amazing word was going to follow?! But the word was simply this – “Yes, honey, I saw you picking that duck.”
To me, and I am sure to others who heard it at the time, and also to Bobby Conner, it seemed like a confusing and very underwhelming word. But to the lady it meant the world! On receiving it, she laughed and she cried and then she shared how decades earlier, as a young woman during the war, the only job she could find was one that had her on a dock plucking feathers from ducks to be used for military clothing. One day in desperation, she cried out to the Lord, “Oh God, do you even know where I am?”
And yes God did see and know!
God sees, God knows and God loves you!
You may feel insignificant, small or unimportant, you may feel unappreciated by those around you. But you, you are not unnoticed by and you are certainly not insignificant to God. He knows who you are and where you are. He knows your circumstances and what you are going through and He cares because He loves you.
You don’t even need to cry out “Look at me! Do you see me?” because His eyes are upon you, His grace is around you and His love is upholding you. In God you will always find encouragement.
“Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.” (Psalm 116:2)
“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)