I recall a rainy camping weekend when all I wanted do was pack up and go home. I remember glancing across at my hubby who was relaxed and enjoying just being. I recognised that I needed to adjust my attitude and shift the focus from self to the man I loved. I put aside my discontentment and dragged out games I had packed for the proverbial “rainy day”. I made a mug of coffee, located some choc chip biscuits and challenged my man to a game. We laughed and chatted, reminiscing on precious moments in life, huddled under an awning with the rain bucketing down around us. Taking time out of a distracted life to live a little and just be together.
This made me ponder if YHWH longed for “rainy” days when I decisively put aside life and just sit in His presence. While He could paralyse us on the spot, He does not want us riveted us to the spot, rather that we desire to spend time with Him, out of love. He desires us to share moments and laughter with Him. However, the pressure of life often bombards and distracts us and we tend to forget how to enjoy undivided and intimate time with our Father. Sitting in His presence does not only mean reading the Word and praying, it is deeper. This time is not bound by regularity and a set place, it extends to enjoying nature, marvelling at His creation and being awed at the magnificence of the vastness and majesty of what He spoke into being.
Taking time to appreciate the forests, wildlife and deserts, drinking in the beauty of creation that brings you closer to YHWH. This does not include considering the microscopic cells that together generate life within the plants, the cycles that keep us alive, food chains and ecosystems that were spoken into being. Nature speaks of God’s character and majesty. There are things in nature that remind us of His love for us, little love letters that He gives us – sunsets, sunrises, lightning and thunder.
Birds are my love letters. They are so beautiful and so varied, they take to the skies soaring and diving displaying a variety of moves. Then they settle in trees and fill the air with beautiful songs. Every time I hear a Cockatoo I raise my eyes to the skies and thank Him for His love for me. I live on the Sunshine Coast, Australia and there are Brahminy Kites that fly over the beach. I stop and marvel at the majesty of these birds. In conversation with residents who had lived in the area for a number of years, I mentioned seeing the Kites. Their response that they had never noticed the birds shocked me. They told me that they never looked up but that they definitely would be doing so in future. When last did you stop to watch a bird fly overhead? When was the last time you stopped and just listened to the song of a bird? We can become so distracted and busy living that we forget to live and we miss the wonders of creation, we don’t notice the detail, don’t see the colours. This might be because we spend most of our lives inside, indoors. God created the outdoors, man created the indoors. We tend to spend so much time listening to white noise that we forget to attune our ears to Him. Perhaps it is time to switch off the worldly sounds and listen fill to the sound of creation, birdsong and the rustle of leaves. Time to step outdoors and experience His creation.
Unfortunately, most of us believe that a rigid and set devotional time is required to build a relationship with Him. Yet, it was in the garden that YHWH walked with Adam and Eve. I can just imagine the conversations that would have been had as Adam and Eve chatted about the creation as they spent time WALKING in the presence of YHWH. When was the last time you paid really close attention to God’s creation – while in His presence? Walk outside, spend a new time with YHWH, sing a song of praise with the birds. Lift His name high, praise Him for His beautiful creation. Stop and smell the roses.
I understand that we need to work to pay the bills and eat, we have responsibilities and chores that never seem to end, someone somewhere needing our attention. These pressures of life are real and they keep pushing. However, the verse, “Seek first the Kingdom of YHWH and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) reminds us to put Him first, He will provide for our needs. I made a decision to go for a walk and take time to listen and talk to Him, I call it my “Come Away” time. During these walks I find refreshment and peace to face the day. Come Away time might be on the drive to work, if it just you in the car pray, sing at the top of your voice or listen to a podcast. I think that we have been ‘man-washed’ into boxing our time with YHWH, although He is omnipotent, omnipresent. We are called to walk with Him, not be seated for a prayer and verse and then say goodbye until tomorrow. I want to encourage you to find time in your day to walk with Him, just the two of you. Take time to let Him show you something, enjoy His presence and share your crazy moments in life with Him.
Thank you Father that You created the beauty of nature, the strength of a storm, the gentleness of the breeze and the mighty roar of the sea that speaks of your might and power. You remind us of your majesty in the night sky and as ants scurry across the path. Forgive me for trying to box the time spent with You. I ask that Your Spirit would teach me to freely approach you no matter what time or where I am. I wish to walk in Your presence. Amen
Brahminy Kite taken on one of my walks.