Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Walk of a Lifetime

I went for a walk around the lake the other day that's about 11/2 miles from our house.  I needed some time alone with the Lord.  Lately a lot of things have seemed to be crowding in around me, leaving me almost no room to breathe, and I wanted to lay everything at His feet and give it all to Him without any interruption.  It was a beautiful day: nice, warm, and sunshiny.  But a storm was starting to roll in; the wind started blowing, clouds began covering the mountains, and little waves were forming on the lake.  It still made for a beautiful day; I love storms, and the storm was only coming in slowly.

There's a sidewalk surrounding the lake where most people walk, and in occasional spots you'll see people right up to, or even in the lake, fishing or wading or just hanging out.  I normally just walk around the lake on the walkway provided, but this time about 3/4 of the way around I decided to go and sit on the rocks by the water for a while, just thinking and praying.

I was watching the water (water is very beautiful in the way it flows) and how it moved for several minutes when my attention was suddenly fixated on one of the bigger waves (even though they were all small).  I watched it as it came rolling towards the shore and me.  I watched as it got a little bigger and the water underneath it seemed to push it even a little higher.  Then I saw it break on the rocks sticking up out of the water and all of a sudden fall almost flat and get thinner and thinner as it spread as far as it possibly could onto the shore.

And I thought how similar are the trials we go through.  When we're going through them, they just seem to get bigger and bigger.  But if we cling to our Rock, the Most High God, He will carry us through, the trials will break around Him and get smaller and smaller as we trust in Him.

And then I noticed the birds.  There were lots of birds flying over the lake, riding the wind, dipping down to catch bugs that were floating on the water.  They would fly right into the wind, or hover in one place as the wind came towards them.  Not once did I see a single bird get blown backwards because of the force of the wind.  And they weren't afraid to dive down towards the upset water.

And this reminded me that should the Lord our God bring us through trials - to winds that rage against our soul, waves that roar and rise higher and higher threatening to overwhelm us - it is our duty to obey.  It is our joy to walk through such a storm, knowing that our Lord and Saviour will not let us go.  And He'll be right there beside us.  All we must do is call upon His name.

In one spot around the lake, the path turns and you can't see what's up ahead.  I thought of Much Afraid (from the book Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard - a very good read by the way) and the journey she took to the High Places.  In a certain place in the book, just when it seemed that the road she was on was leading back to the High Places, it took a turn and led her into an even lower valley.  The Shepherd did this to teach her a specific lesson.

Our lives are journeys.  And our lives do not belong to ourselves.  God created us and He creates a different path for each individual person.  And if we step off our designated road and choose to go our own way, He chastens us an brings us back (just like He did with Christian in Pilgrim's Progress).  Sometimes we can't see what's up ahead.  Sometimes the waves will toss to and fro about us.  Sometimes the wind will be so strong we'll feel that we can't push against it.  In times like these we have only to call out the Saviour's name and He's there, comforting us and holding our hand and walking with us.

We live day by day, not year to year.  Every morning we must rise and seek the Father's face.  We must intreat Him to stay by our side and give us grace, strength, courage, and faith to face each trial that comes our way.  If we miss one morning, or get tired and not pray whole-heartedly, the things of that day will probably not go well for us.  But as long as we trust in Him and desire Him to be Lord over our lives, He will give us strength for each passing day.

While I was walking around the lake I was listening to hymns, and this is one that stuck out at me:

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone,this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease.
My comforter, my all in all,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone.  Heights of love.  Depths of peace.  He is my God and He gives me these things when I've done nothing for them.

Praise the Lord, He knows all things!  He knows when to send trials and lessons.  He knows when to send peace.  And I know I am His and He is mine, and He will never let me go.

I snapped a picture the day I walked around the lake.

 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? 
and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
~Matthew 10:29-31~