Best of Places, Hardest of Times

My backyard is one of the most peaceful places on earth. At least the most peaceful place closest to home without the headache of traveling. (Ha!) Have to give credit where credit is due; God has made lots of wonderful places on earth. Anyway, we have a small pool with a stone fountain, tall hedges, lots of privacy and the hot tub has a waterfall into the pool. You can lounge on the sofa in the shade of the gazebo and listen to the birds chirp. Squirrels run along the fence line and rarely do you hear a barking dog. There is nothing better than sitting outside, waterfall in the background, breeze blowing, Francesca Battistelli playing on the speakers, eyes closed and praying to Jesus.

God and I do lots of talking outside. We do lots of talking on my couch inside too (Texas heat!). It is in the quiet  that I hear him the most. Unfortunately, there isn’t much quiet in my life. I have to make the quiet happen. Whether it’s after everyone goes to bed or the 15 minutes between picking the kids up and getting dinner started, I make it a point to find the time for the quiet. Sitting outside sets the stage for quiet and sets the stage to be vulnerable (I guess because no one else is around?). Make your quiet time intentional. Start small, don’t try to conquer the world in a day.  Even just a minute or two is a place to start. 

It is in the best of places that I have my hardest of times. It’s when God speaks to my heart and the tears roll down my cheeks. It’s a place to confess my sins, to breakdown and tell God I’m a mess.  It’s my place to sob about death and mean kids at school and consequences I am suffering. It’s a safe place to cry out to Jesus that I don’t have it all together, and I don’t know what I’m doing so I sure hope he does. Then he holds me and loves me. I can imagine his arms around me, just holding me and comforting me, letting me get it all out of my system. And once I’ve got all the messy out he simply says “I forgive you. I love you” and continues to hold me.

Those words, those simple words are life-giving words. They will set you free for an eternity.  You can start your eternity with Christ by accepting Jesus today.  

James 4:8 – Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded.

Matthew 6:6 – But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

Mark 1:35-37 – Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed.

 

There’s Always More

There is always a never ending list of stuff to do, things to buy, places to go and busyness to partake in.  Grocery store lists, errands to run, phone calls to return, kids’ activities to race to, it’s the stuff that makes life, life.  It’s also the stuff that makes life suffocating.

I find that the busier I am, the less quiet time I spend with God.  The day is busy from the moment the alarm goes off, and there “isn’t time” to start the day with prayer and relationship with God.  The busier I am, the more I rely on myself to get stuff done and the less I rely on God.  “I can get it all done,” “I can make it happen,” “I can get it accomplished”—there’s no room for God in any of those thoughts of the heart.  The more time that goes on like that, the wider the chasm in my relationship with Christ.

Our God is a good, good Father and He is waiting for us to return to His arms.  I imagine him sitting on the front porch, light on, waiting expectantly for our return home.  He wants nothing more than to spend time with us each day, just sitting and talking one-on-one.

If you are far from Christ today, or maybe just haven’t had a focused quiet time in a while, now is the time to stop and spend time with your Lord.  He is waiting for you.  He can’t wait to hear your heart and share his love in return.

Zephaniah 3:17 – The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Psalm 73:28 – But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.

James 4:8 – Come near to God and he will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Mark 1:35 – Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Psalm 62:1 – Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.

Revelation 3:20 – Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Isaiah 2:17 – The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

Psalm 73:25-26- Whom have I in heaver, but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but my God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

 

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