We stepped onto the small wooden deck extending from our cozy room and gazed in amazement at the scene before us. Autumn trees bursting with colors of burnt orange and golden yellow bordered the glassy creek stretching toward the red rock mountain. Like a bridal aisle bids the beloved, the creek drew our eyes slowly toward the majestic red rock mountain framing the scene with God’s majestic glory.
The beginning of a new day, a new year for me stretched before us and I could almost hear the Lord saying:
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12 NIV
Just two short days to dance along the tenderfoot trails or balance on rocks as we crossed the West Fork of the creek. Glorious, breathless days surrounded by the rich red rock of Sedona, Arizona. Climbing high above the valley we braced ourselves against the wind, feet planted on layered red rock. We marveled at rocks resembling courthouses and gigantic bells. We tucked ourselves between granite walls in the Oak Creek Canyon and carefully navigated the creek crossings.
|West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon|
|Crossing Oak Creek Canyon|
As the sun peeked over the red rock, iridescent green-headed mallards and their partners quacked their morning song below our room at the Inn. Poised by the creek, we watched them as they watched back. Waiting for crumbs.
Surrounded by spires, and strata, and yellow cacti fruit with swirls of red, and yellow, and burnt orange leaves, I saw the majesty of God and was filled with His joy and peace.
The Lord’s creation speaks of His majesty. When you gaze upon the mountains’ grandeur or the crashing of the rhythmic, rolling sea. When your heart soars at Autumn robed in vibrant colors or observe the birds in flight, you have witnessed the hand of God and know He exists.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–His eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 NIV
|Chapel of the Holy Cross|
May your week be filled with the joys of family and friends gathered around to give Thanks for all of the Lord’s blessings.
Scripture and a Snapshot
Playdates with God
Tell Me a True Story
Share: Share what you have enjoyed. “But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; my refuge in times of trouble.” The morning shaft of light penetrates the darkened sky. Hope and promise rise in the eastern sky. Peace marks the stillness of new day.
If I could rise like the new day in quiet and stillness with joyful anticipation of God’s power holding what lay ahead, I would sing, “‘Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King and My God, For unto Thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord, in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up.’” (Psalm 5:1-3)
But unlike my earthly father who awakened early, I roll over and enjoy a few more hours of sleep. By then the morning sun warms the dirt and the noise of cars disrupt the once-quiet air. I have missed so much.
The day begins in a rush with a promise to talk to my Savior later. I scramble to my feet mentally checking off the morning list. All sense of peace lost in the anxiousness of what the day holds.
I turn around and the afternoon sun drums a rhythm that says “Not much time left in this day. Hurry, hurry.” My pace quickens. Almost frantic, I calculate how much can be accomplished from the borrowed time of evening lights.
At last, I slip under the covers that cuddled me in the morning and whisper to my Savior, “Thank you for this day and all that was accomplished. I’ll try to meet You in the morning.”
Oh, to lift my voice in the still morning. To look up and hear Him whisper back. To sing of His love and know He holds the day ahead. My Rock, my Fortress, my Refuge. Here we will meet, and in the still, I will know that You are God.
Linking with My Daily Walk in His Grace
Share: Share what you have enjoyed.
I writhed in bed and twisted the sheets. Emotional pain seared my heart once again. Would it never end? As my mind searched out the future, a road of shredded hopes littered the way. Even the warmth of my husband’s arms could not relieve the pain.
Then God whispered between the anxious thoughts to read again the devotional He had set before my eyes that night. Words of praise and thanksgiving spoken by “Girlfriends in God” squeaked past the tormenting thoughts.
I arose and slipped quietly into our walk-in closet. Amidst the rack of tops and jeans, next to the stack of shoes, I reread the devotional, soaking up the Scriptures and the words from Mary Southerland on praise. “…to praise God means to celebrate His worth, His value…His presence”, she wrote.
In the praise is the letting go of the worries, the thoughts that churn like a ceaseless washing machine through my mind. No concentration is needed to let go. No effort on my part. Praising God yanks the worries out and replaces the vacuum with peace.
I crept back to bed and gently eased the covers up. The roar began again in my head. Slowly, deliberately, I whispered the names of God. Praise for His character breathed over my lips. My eyelids flickered and then another roar disturbed the peace. I pulled from the corners of my mind words that once slid easily from my mouth. The balm of peace slipped my eyelids closed. Wrapped in His worth and presence I drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, I awoke to an email from a dear friend. Her message carried a sense of urgency. Tears dripped on my keyboard as I read her words:
“Just a note to say you were heavy on my heart this morning in prayer time (and I also went to bed praying for you!) When I was reading my Bible this morning, I read Psalm 34:18–‘The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart…’”
The Lord knew my pain. He cared so much for me that He impressed the urgency of prayer upon a friend of mine.
And He cares for each of us with the compassion uniquely designed for us. Click to Tweet
“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice, he heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.
I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, save me!’
The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, He saved me.
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Psalm 116 1, 2, 3b, 4-7.
“Praise is not optional in a life that wins over worry and doubt.” (Click to Tweet) Mary Southerland, “Weeds and Worry”, Girlfriends in God.
May you know His presence and peace in praising the One and Only Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
The Beauty in His Grip
Playdates With God
What Joy Is Mine
Share: Share what you have enjoyed.