“In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”
I curled up on my couch—candles flickering in the growing dark—as the sun waved farewell and sank into tomorrow-land. I pulled up the comforter from the foot of the couch and wrapped myself in its gentle warmth. It had been a tumultuous day.
“Don’t worry, everything is going to be alright,” God said.
“You’re sure about that?” I asked.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega. Of course, I’m sure.”
“It’s hard to believe that when everything seems to be falling apart,” I told Him.
“You can’t see the big picture, but I can. Trust me, everything works out in the end,” God assured me. “Get some rest; tomorrow is another day.”
I giggled. “You sound like Scarlett O’Hara.” I could hear God smile. “Why do I lose faith when things don’t go as I want them to go?”
“Your ego,” God answered. “You get scared and want to take control.”
“What can I do to trust you better?”
“Breathe. Just breathe.”
“No, seriously God. What can I do?” I asked.
“I was serious. Just breathe. There’s nothing you need to do other than to go on living and let me do what I need to do.”
“You promise you got this?”
“Cross my heart,” God said.
The candles burned brighter as the room grew darker. I watched the flames dance to the beat of a drum I couldn’t hear. Much like I can’t hear God’s drumbeat. It’s not meant for my ears. All I can do is trust that He’s beating the drum perfectly. I can breathe when I can no longer see His hand, and I get scared. And I can remind myself that tomorrow is another day.
There is no fear in love.
~1 John 4:18
I woke this morning to a sky blanketed in gray clouds. Maybe we’ll get the first rain of the season, I thought as I padded down the hall to the kitchen, tugging my robe close to my chest to ward off the chill. Too cold to sit outside with my coffee, I curled up on the chaise lounge, my thoughts a jumble of worries and woes. I couldn’t think of anything other than things that were out of my control. “God, I need to give these thoughts and feelings to you,” I said.
“I’ll take them from you,” God said as He stretched out His hands to me. “Give them to me.”
“What will you do with them?” I asked, curious.
“I’ll breathe love into them,” He said. “Fear and worry can’t exist in love.”
“If I loved more, would I worry less?” I asked.
“Undoubtedly,” He replied.
“Is there a secret for loving more?” I asked.
“It’s not a secret. All you have to do is to trust me more.”
A gust of wind rushed by, rattling the windows. “You don’t have to be so dramatic,” I said.
“I’m not being dramatic. Just breathing love your way,” God said. Just then, drops of water broke free from the clouds and fell to the earth.
“Rain!” I shouted. I opened the door and went out and stood in it as another gust of wind rushed past me, lifting my hair. When my robe was damp, I went back inside to start a fire in the pot belly stove so that I could dry off. “Thank you, God,” I said, “I’m not worried anymore.”
“You’re welcome, Sparrow,” God said, and breathed more love my way. It wrapped around the cottage in an embrace.
“Do not be anxious about anything…”
On the wind, the Starlings fly; their soft bodies pushed side to side as they navigate the coming storm. Instinctively, they take refuge in the oak tree just outside my window. I watch a mother squirrel lead her baby across the lawn. Together they climb the magnolia tree to wait out the rough weather. The Juncos eating at the bird feeder take flight as it swings with each new gust. I sense a shift in the temperature as the clouds burst open.
I marvel at God’s creation. He instilled intelligence in all of His creatures. Everything works perfectly together; all the minuscule pieces aligned by God’s hand. Everything that I see in the world enables me to trust all that I can’t see.
The storm slowly spent its fury. The clouds rolled away leaving a blue sky shining with promise. The animals left their safe harbors and once again, went about the business of the day. So too, do I. Out beyond the storms of my life I go with God. I trust Him with all of my tomorrows—with all that I cannot see.
Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.
As I walked to my car from the farmstand I passed a woman with a basket full of vegetables she had just picked. “Nice tomatoes,” I said and smiled.
“Have you tried this one?” She asked, and fished out a delicate yellow oval fruit from under the red cherry tomatoes. I shook my head. “Here, try it. It’s like eating the sun.” I took it from her and bit into it. Its juice filled my mouth with a sweet deliciousness. I thanked her for the opportunity to try a new variety.
“I’ll come back Sunday to pick some,” I promised. She smiled and went on her way. How blessed I am to live in such a place as this, God, I thought to myself. Friendly strangers, organic farms, and the sun, available in a little torpedo of a tomato.
“It was no accident that I encouraged you to move here,” God said. “When you follow the desires I put inside of you, life will always turn out well.”
I stood by the farm’s gate and gazed out over the acres of vegetables growing in the warmth of the last days of summer. I thought of all of the fears that I could have allowed to stop me from moving here, and I was grateful that I had trusted God.
My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
The howls from a pack of coyotes woke me from a deep sleep. Never before had I heard them that close to the cottage. I shuddered as their sounds grew more insistent—frenzied—the celebration of a kill. My mind instantly went to the three feral kittens I feed. “God, I’m not sure you’re really a loving God,” I said and kicked off the sheets and climbed out of bed. I stood at the window, peering out into the yard dimly lit by the crescent moon.
“Why is that?” God answered.
“The food chain. I don’t understand why life has to come from death,” I said. “Painful deaths at that.” I strained my eyes to see if the kittens were safe in the hedgerow.
“That’s a tough one to explain to you,” God said. “You don’t understand death, and you don’t fully understand life.”
“What does that mean?” I asked. Still no sign of the kittens, but at least the coyotes had stopped howling.
“It means that you can’t understand my creation. You aren’t designed to,” God explained. “You don’t have the capacity to comprehend my ways.” God tapped my arm. “Look, the kittens,” He said, and pointed to the edge of the yard. There, in the moonlight, the kittens played. I breathed a sigh of relief. “They are in my care,” He said. “In life and in death. You’ll have to trust me on this.”
“I’ll try.” I got back into bed and pulled the covers up.
“I’ll see you and the kittens in the morning,” God said softly. I nodded, too sleepy to reply.
“But I trust in your unfailing love…”
“It’s dark in here, God,” I said as the door closed shut behind me. There was no answer. I felt my way along the walls as I slowly crept forward. “It’s a long hallway, God,” I said. I took another hesitant step forward. Where I thought I was going, I had no idea. Eventually, I tired and sat down. “It’s getting cold, too,” I called out. Still, no answer. And so I sat in the cold dark, and waited, doing all I could to keep my rising anxiety at bay.
After what seemed like an eternity, I called out again to God. “Hello? Can you hear me? I know you have to be here.”
“Of course, I’m here,” God called back.
“Why didn’t you answer me earlier?” I asked.
“I was busy arranging your next chapter,” God answered.
“My next chapter?”
“What you’ll be doing next with your life. I closed the door on your last chapter and I’ve not yet opened the next door. I’m working out the details,” God explained.
“What do I do while you’re busy working everything out?” I asked.
“Hold onto my promise,” God said.
So I sat, in the dark hallway, holding onto the promise of God, waiting patiently for Him to open the next door.
After some time had passed I called out, “Thank you for all you’re doing for me.” Just then, God opened the next door. Light flooded into the hallway and I could see what was next, and it was so beautiful!