The picture above was taken from my parent’s porch. I have taken in this view over and over again each time I have left my parents house. It would be impossible to number the amount of times that I looked out over this horizon. It would also be impossible to quantify the amount of times that I have actually sat down and marveled at its beauty.
This photo was captured one recent morning as I stepped outside. I paused and admired the fog rolling back as the dawn crept over the hayfield. The air was so crisp that my burdens just fell away. The chill was barely noticeable as I felt the Holy Spirit warm my anxieties into a comforting calm. This was the first day, in a long time, that I was able to begin my day in peace.
I have felt many emotions standing on this porch, a list that includes: love, laughter, joy, frustration, anger, sadness, emptiness, desperation, fullness, compassion, and wonder. In the night, on more than one occasion, I have felt fear–as my sister has locked me out of the house after taunting the coyotes to howl. And on the darkest of nights, I have been left speechless at the magnificent number of stars that can be viewed from one small porch.
Lincoln, Missouri, may be a tiny place on the planet, but I’ve still never been anywhere else where I could view more of His creation just by looking up.
As I start a new chapter in my life, my prayer is that I will never run from what is set before me. For years I was waiting for “the most wonderful thing of all” to happen, like Nora from A Doll’s House. My exit from my old life might not have been as dramatic or memorable as Ibsen’s “door slam heard ‘round the world” but it was final and resolute. I will not be so disturbed by these echoes that I fail to carry on.
Someone recently set this idea with me—what might appear to be junk to us—just might be something beautiful and pretty to the One we serve. This is revealed as truth to me—what might seem to be a catastrophic disruption in my world—to my own human understanding—could actually be preparing the way for the Kingdom. Try as he might, Satan tramples and rules in this world, but God can make beautiful things out of Satan’s most grave efforts to spoil life. It’s almost like—if Satan busies himself stomping around in the garden trying to hinder growth—then Jehovah will draw near to His children as we draw near to Him and He will build up the sweetest and most beautiful fruit.
I believe that the children of the King should not live their lives in fear.
I’ve decided, if I spend all my time outside at night running and fearing distant coyotes, then I will miss out on every opportunity to be awe-struck by our Creator. He is my protector and He shines the light.
Slow down! Live, love, breathe, shine!
Do more, fear less.