The sun slips slowly beneath the curve of the earth. I sit in my room and watch the last rays of light splash gold and red over the trees by the garden. This is the time of day I love the most—the moments that reside between the day and night. This is when I feel the most grateful; humbly appreciative of God’s goodness.
The feral kittens I feed have pushed open the screen door, eager for their dinner. I hear them eating in the kitchen. I’ll not get up until they are finished, as I know they’d run if I walked towards them. So I sit in this stillness, watching the last bit of light fade away.
“Thank you, God, for another day,” I say softly.
“You’re welcome,” He answers and comes and sits down next to me so that I might rest my head on His shoulder. We sit there for a long time—until the kittens are done with their dinner, and it is time for me to cook my own. I rise and leave the room, knowing that He will rise and go with me—we never tire of each others company.
God works all things together for the good.
I bowed my head in prayer. “Dear God, I’ve got some regrets,” I confessed. “I’ve made some bad decisions in the past.”
“When you made the decisions, did you feel that they were the best at the time?” He asked.
“Yes. Of course,” I answered.
“Did you learn anything from the decisions?” He questioned.
“Yes,” I replied.
“What was the biggest lesson you learned from?” God asked.
I pondered the question for a few moments. “To trust you instead of relying on my ego,” I answered honestly.
“Then the decisions that you regret ultimately worked out to the good because you’ve learned to trust more,” God exclaimed.
“I hadn’t thought of it that way,” I said. “Thank you for pointing that out.”
“Anytime,” God replied. “Come on, let’s go for a walk,” He suggested. I tugged on my hiking boots and the two us walked out of the cottage together. My steps haven’t felt that light in a long time.
All things work to good…
“Rest for a while,” the afternoon urged me with its warmth. So I put down my work and poured myself a glass of lemonade and curled up in the big chair on the porch. The birds perched high in the heritage oak sang to me. My thoughts soon turned to the problems now facing me in this chapter of life.
“What do I do God?” I asked.
“You trust, just as you have always done,” He answered.
“It’s hard to trust when I can’t see the road ahead.”
“I understand,” God said gently.
“I never know what’s going to happen next,” I sighed.
“Not knowing is what it means to be alive,” God said. “Walk into the uncertainty as if it is a meadow, teeming with life, with possibility. Live in it. Embrace it. Let it expand you instead of shrink you.”
“How do I do that?”
“Take my hand, I’ll show you,” God said, and gently lifted me out of the chair and into what’s next.
“Let not your heart be troubled.
I sat under the oak tree and listened to the wind move through the branches—the soft sound soothing to my weary soul. A memory of a difficult time in my life had taken over me and I needed some time and space to myself.
“You don’t live there anymore,” God said as He sat down next to me. “Remember, you gave that trauma to me a long time ago.”
“I know I did. But it’s back. I can’t seem to shake the feelings around it,” I answered.
“I made your heart whole. You’ve been healed from the past.”
“Why am I feeling this way, then?” I asked.
“Align yourself with Me,” God whispered, “and the past will stay in the past.”
“How do I do that?”
“Find me in everything around you.”
I looked out over the meadow and saw the wind moving through the tall grass. A flock of birds, high above, were making their way to the horizon. The sun’s warm fingers rested on my arms. Off in the distance, a deer and her fawn moved silently through the trees.
“I’m here with you,” God said. I nodded as tears found their way down my face. God gently picked me up and carried me back to the cottage. “Let your heart be full of Me—my love and my grace.”
I wiped my eyes and walked into the kitchen, into the present moment, the past now comfortably behind me.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Last night as God tucked me into bed, He promised that He would make a special sunrise this morning so that I would be inspired to write a good Soul Reminder. He kept His promise. And now, I must keep mine—to write something that touches your heart and glorifies Him. This is my humble attempt.
The coolness of the Earth is still present from her hours under darkness. The wild grass, wet with dew, stretches out as far as I can see, sparkling in the soft rays of the early sunlight. A shy breeze brushes past me as I sit quietly, listening to the birds singing. Out in the ravine, foxes are calling, calling; their rough voices rousing the other animals from their slumber. The bees, already awake and ready, are busy with the blossoms. Soon, the feral cats will come down from the barn and sit at the edge of the yard, inviting me to feed them. I love this waking up—the slow rhythm to the early hours. I love this time with God.
I love this time with you, too, dear reader. I hold you in my heart and pray for your good health and happiness. I pray for you to always know the love of God—the feel of His gentle hand on your shoulder—the strong arms of His embrace. I pray that you begin every morning in awe of Him, giving thanks for another day as a guest in His amazing creation.
“‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered.”
“Come on, let’s go for a walk,” Faith said to Hope. “We’ve been cooped up in this musty old place for far too long.”
“I agree,” said Hope. And so, the two of them went out walking.
“Look at that hawk circling over the pond,” Faith pointed for Hope to see.
“Uh huh, I see it. Look at the deer over by the thicket,” Hope pointed for Faith to see.
They walked along, delighting in the wildlife they saw. At the far end of the meadow, they came upon a fox who had unfortunately gotten his head stuck in a fence.
Hope said, “I sure wish that the farmer who owns that pasture will find him and help him.”
“Wishing isn’t enough,” said Faith as she walked over to the fox.
“He might bite you!” warned Hope.
“Maybe,” she said and sat down next to the fox. She used all of her might to bend the fence until she freed the fox who gratefully ran away.
“Good job!” said Hope as they began walking again.
In a little while, they came to a creek, its water rushing from the spring snowmelt. “How will we cross?” asked Hope.
“Climb on my back. I’ll get us across,” said Faith.
“You’re crazy! There is no way you can carry me through that water. It’s too rough,” said Hope.
“I have no intention of carrying you through it,” replied Faith.
“Then why should I climb on your back?”
“Because I’m going to jump across it!” said Faith
“You’re crazier than I thought!” said Hope. She stepped away from Faith.
“Your choice,” Faith said. She took a running start and lept across the creek, landing safely on the opposite bank.
Hope stood alone, dumbstruck. “There’s no way I could ever do that,” she called to Faith over the roar of the water.
“I know. That’s why I offered to carry you,” Faith called back to her.
What’s the moral of the story? Hope is a good thing to have, but it’s faith that gets things done. When you need to get across the rough waters of your life, have hope, but count on faith to carry you across safely.