Do I not fill heaven and earth?
Sitting outside the local cafe, I watched the people walking by. There were short ones, round ones, brown ones, black ones. White ones, tall ones, happy ones, sad ones. Everyone that walked by showed me a face of God.
I sipped my coffee and marveled that I am so blessed to be a part of God’s creation which He so graciously inhabits. When my cup was empty, I got up and went on my way, aware that my face, too, reflects God. Better behave in a way that is in alignment with that, I thought to myself, then smiled at the child of God walking toward me.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to children.
The mercury steadily rose, causing the streets to shimmer as the heat settled down over the day, stilling the breeze. Unable to concentrate, I got up from my desk and went and stood by the open window. I strained to hear the noises of the afternoon, but even the birds were silent.
“Put aside your work,” God invited me. “Come out and play!”
I laced up my shoes and scrambled out the door. As I turned the corner to the front yard, the wind broke free from its restraints and swept across the lawn. The birds, cooled by its touch, broke out in song. Two yellow butterflies bobbed by just as I heard God laugh. I sat down in the yard and laughed with Him. Work could wait. God could not.
Give thanks in all circumstances.
~1 Thessalonians 5:18
The phone rang in the middle of the night, rousing me from my slumber. The voice on the other end was filled with fear. “I’m on my way,” I said and quickly got dressed in the dark. The drive to the hospital seemed to take an eternity. I did my best to push away the frightening images that began to flash in my mind.
As I turned the last corner into the parking lot, I felt a comforting hand on my shoulder. “Give thanks,” God said above the din of my racing thoughts.
“Now?” I asked, shaking my head. Didn’t God realize this wasn’t the time for thanksgiving, but rather a time for worry and concern?
“Yes. Now,” He answered. I parked the car and walked quickly towards the after-hours entrance. Again, God spoke to me. “Give thanks.”
As I walked the long hallways I began to say thank you for all the good that was unfolding, even in this frightening situation. My legs felt strong beneath me as I focused on gratitude. My breathing slowed and my mind became increasingly calm and clear. By the time I got to the room and walked in, I felt God’s presence shining from me, lighting the way in the dark of the unknown that stretched before us.
Always seek God’s face.
~1 Chronicles 16:11
I drove the winding road up over the hills and down to the secluded beach just north of where the locals hang out. I unlaced my shoes and walked barefoot, the soft sand giving way between my toes. “Are you here, God?” I asked over the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore. A flock of low-flying pelicans drifted silently across the horizon.
“I’m here,” God replied.
“Good. I came here to be near you,” I whispered.
“You didn’t have to drive to the beach to find me,” He answered.
“I know. But I like looking for you here,” I said.
“And I like looking for you,” God said gently. “I seek you everywhere you go.”
“Then we are looking for each other,” I answered as a waved raced up and surrounded my ankles. I laughed and stepped back farther onto the shore. I sat down where the sand was dry and looked out over the ocean. I thought how amazing it is that God who created the heavens and the earth looks for me amid His immense creation.
We sat there together for awhile—me listening to the rhythm of the waves— and God listening to all that was in my heart.
Be content with what you have.
Walking the trail today I noticed naked ladies blooming on the hillside. Their tall brown stems adorned with a single pink blossom—their leaves dried and already decaying—remind me that summer is coming to a close.
My thoughts turned to the season ahead, and I longed for my circumstances to be different. I ached for my own home. A husband. A garden I could tend as I desired. I thought of a myriad of things I wanted. A sense of loss and lack washed over me and my steps grew as heavy as my heart.
“Have I not provided for you?” God asked.
My cheeks burned bright with embarrassment. “Of course, you have. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful.”
“I’ve attended to everything in my creation,” God replied. “There is abundance, not lack.”
I thought of all the abundance in my life—my family, my good health, my friends and the deep satisfaction my work gives me. “I have everything I need, I know. I have enough.” My steps lightened as did my heart.
I stopped by one of the naked ladies and bent down and breathed in is pale perfume—the sweet scent of summer’s last days. And then, I went on my way, full of God.