My family and I went up to Lake Erie this weekend for a little getaway. To be in a "new" area, and to unplug and just be quiet is a rare experience for me, but one I found to be so refreshing. We spent some time at the lake, and the more we were there, the more the quiet and the beauty of God's creation spoke to my heart. I didn't have my computer with me, so I sat in the old fashioned manner with a pen and paper; but here is an excerpt from my heart this weekend...
As I sit on the edge of the lake and watch the waves crash over the rocks, I am struck by a quiet analogy right in front of me.
We are not on a designated beach area. Even the kids want to "be away" from the people and just be our family, so we found a picnic area that is also suitable for swimming and claimed it as our own place for a bit of time. While the kids dash into the lake to swim, and Michael takes a place on a bench, I take my pen and paper to sit in the blazing sun and write. I don't have a topic to write about, I just want to be in the moment.
I love the water. I love nature. Some people feel closest to God in moments of being with others. Some feel closest to Him when serving. Some find their special moments with God when studying. I have come to learn that my favorite moments with Him come when I am out in nature. When I run. When I hike. When I am by the water. Getting into nature, however that might shape up to be, is my favorite way to hear Him and connect.
Sometimes, I am looking for a magical answer from God, but I am often reminded that is not how He works. He takes His time, usually, because when He takes time answering me and showing me His attributes, that's when I draw closest to Him. The analogy sits right in front of me.
The waves are loud against the rocks where I sit. The only sound louder is Elizabeth's laughter, as she bobs in and out of the water. I smile, just taking the moment in while it lasts. But as I dangle my legs over the large rocks, barely dipping my toes into the water, a rock catches my eye. It's covered in moss and is one I'd avoid upon stepping into the lake. It's dirty, messy. But the longer I sit here on the edge of the lake, the more that rock catches my eye. The waves keep crashing over it, harder as the afternoon goes along. The more the waves wash over it, the more the rock is actually revealed. The waves are pulling the moss off the rock. As the moss is removed little by little from the rock because of those waves, the true nature of the rock is revealed. It's smooth. It's shiny. It's actually a beautiful rock. Typically rocks don't strike my interest. But because this rock sits in front of me for the entire time I sit with my pen and paper, my eye is continually drawn to it.
The rock is becoming an analogy I was not looking for or expecting. The rock is like me; or perhaps I should say, I am like that rock.
I am kind of messy. Some would maybe avoid me (or perhaps I'd avoid them because of what I feel my "moss" might be). But the more the waves of God's truth and love crash and splash or sometimes gently roll over me, the more the true beauty- HIS beauty - can be and is revealed. His truths, His love, His grace roll over me moment by moment, and as I allow Him to "shape" me, His attributes can shine through brighter than the "messy" ones we as humans tend to see.
This is why I love nature. A simple rock can become a lesson for me. Or a picture of how God works.
Pen and paper. It almost feels strange to write that way again, yet I love it. It's quiet. The sun feels so good on my skin. The waves and the laughter of both kids are calling me to do more than dip my toes in the water. Nature. God's way of speaking to me and reminding me who I am. Time to jump in.