Friday, August 8, 2014

A Pine Tree

     After moving back to Georgia, it took a while to get settled in, and somewhere along the way my quiet times in God's presence became nearly non-existent.  I felt the desire to read The Word and pray but it just didn't happen.  And while I could blame it on a time of transition or just plain tiredness from toddlers, I knew that I couldn't keep living without being refueled by my Creator.  So, one morning I grabbed my cup of coffee and headed to the front porch.  I wish I could say I was excited and overjoyed to approach my God and spend time in His presence, but my feelings were quite the opposite.  I felt guilty, kind of the same way you feel when you're a kid and you've done something wrong and you just know your parents are going to be upset with you.  You could have done better but you've let them down; they're going to be so disappointed in you.  Okay, so I don't know about you, but I've always been the high achiever type and I hate the feeling of disappointing someone.  To be honest, I was afraid that God was going to be disappointed in me, that He would somehow reprimand me for my inadequacies.
     As I sat down and placed my cup of coffee on the table in front of me, I looked out towards the wooded area across the road.  I didn't know where to begin, but I knew I couldn't let guilt stand between me and Him.  I've always appreciated the beauty that God created in nature; His handiwork is so prevalent and easily recognizable outdoors.  So, I took notice of one towering pine that was swaying back and forth gently in the breeze, and began to thank God for the beauty that sorrounded me.  At this point, I was still uncomfortable but felt I was moving in the right direction and then it happened.  
     I felt God's presence, not his condemnation, or judgement, or disappointment, but His love and joy.  He reminded me that I like the pine tree may sway from time to time but my roots remain in Him.  He delights ini me, for I am His!  Wow, what an incredible God we serve.  It doesn't matter how long it has been since we have talked to Him, or just sat and spent time in His presence, He always wants us to come back.  
     I don't know if you've ever talked to God, or just sat in His presence and listened to Him, but I wish that each of you will take the opportunity to get to know Him.  You may feel weird and akward, but that's okay, after all, the devil will do some pretty crazy stuff to keep you from it; don't let him stand in your way.  There is a God who loves you, who will never leave you or forsake you.  If you don't know what to say, then just sit and tell him, you want to experience his presence, or if you enjoy nature, notice the details and begin to thank God for each of those beautiful things.  His Word says that "All good things come from The Lord."  Just meditate on that for a minute, what in your life is good?  Do you have a roof over your head?  Are you blessed with children?  Did you wake up today?  If you need more help, here's a prayer that can maybe get you started. 
     "God, I don't really even know where to begin.  I am not worthy to spend time with you, but that doesn't matter to you; You love me.  You created me and long to spend time with me.  I want to talk with you and to hear you.  Help me to be still and to recognize your voice.  Let me experience you presence.  God fill me full of your joy and give me a peace that surpasses all of my circumstances.  I want to know more of you.  Speak to me, and cover me in your love."  
      Now, just sit and relish in his goodness.