This summer has been a walking, wandering, and wondering time.
Sometimes I walked our land and other times I went to Silver Lake in Rochester, MN. A place I’ve gone my whole life to play, feed the geese, pray, daydream, and walk. I love the sounds of children playing, young mothers talking, and the noises the giant Canada geese, the mallards, and the park pigeons make.
It’s like they’re playing our song.
Early one morning at the lake, I stood on the bridge I love – a place I sat with my mom and talked. The same place Jonathan (then my young boyfriend) read poetry he’d written about me to me and kissed me gently in the moonlight. For a few minutes, I reflected on those sweet, loving moments.
But I didn’t linger there very long. I had pressing things to think and pray about. (I could almost hear my internal gears grinding.)
That day, my silent prayers were demanding petitions (from Webster: asking, imploring, entreating to the point of begging), as I pressed my fear-filled requests on God. I was tired of reflecting and pondering and waiting. I wanted answers so I could take action.
My heart was shouting out, “enough already!” and my feet sort of hurt so I think I was probably walking hard. Mama would have called it stomping.
I wanted out-loud answers from God to my questions. He had a different plan and silently and gently directed my spirit to stop and look around me. I paused on the path and sighed and said out loud, “Fine.” My not-so-silent words escaped into the air full of that rebellious teenager tone I’d perfected so long ago. Before I obeyed, I may have rolled my eyes. Because I do that sometimes. Even with Him.
As I looked, I sort of expected a reprimand assuming that’s what I deserved. Instead, He sent me His tender mercies over and over in the span of a few moments. As I clicked the button on my cell phone camera, I had no idea if the pics would turn out, but I hoped so because I knew I didn’t completely understand His blessing and wanted them to help me remember the moment with clarity.
I was certain there was more pondering in my very near future and I felt a lot more receptive to that than I had in my very hear past.
Today, months later I’m still pondering those moments and know these things . . .
- These reflections on the water weren’t God’s gift to only me. They were also for the young guy the with more than one camera and the huge lenses – the one who smiled and nodded at me and my cell phone – not in a negative way, but in the kind way strangers sharing a beautiful moment and interest do.
- And they were there for the small, stoopped, and deeply wrinkled woman, who stopped beside me and pointed at the water. Her words, spoken in a different language, were heavy with the awe we felt in unison.
- I’m also certain they were and are a direct blessing from God to me. Because as I stood there, my jaws relaxed (I had no idea until that second they were clenched like a vise!), my shoulders returned to their normal location farther below my ears, and a hush of peace washed over my questions and petitions.
On my way back to my car that day, the Lord, who was not finished with me yet, reminded me of these verses from His Word . . .
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:13 & 14 ESV)
And in His grace, He’s giving me the strength and courage to wait for His answers.
I’m not saying my prayers and petitions aren’t sometimes still demanding or that they never border on desperate because sometimes the needs feel urgent. Like when I’m certain something in my corner of the world needs fixing now. I know that old rut so well that even when my jaw tightens and my shoulders tense, and I walk so hard it hurts, I willingly go that terribly uncomfortable comfortable place.
But God and I are getting me to a better place one quiet, mercy-filled moment at a time as He reminds me: it’s not my job and that it is His and that He’ll get to it all at the perfect time.
Back at the lake today, I sighed without rolling my eyes as I pondered this truth: His Spirit lives in my messy heart and speaks to me in the middle of my muddles (messy emotional puddles). Not because I’m great, but He is perfectly and wonderfully and amazingly great.
And He showed me His love again from His Word. It says that as a believer, I am a reflection of His glory. And if you are a believer too, we are. He says so! What a marvelous, miraculous, humbling, truth.
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT)
One of these days I’m going back to this bridge. To remember and ponder and reflect on the things that Mama said to me because I have not learned all the lessons left to me in her wisdom.
And most of all I’m going to think about Jonathan who loves me still and more.
Until Next Time,