Monday, August 20, 2012

Resting in God with the "Things" Around Us

I am so very blessed to work where I do!  As you probably know, I work for Highland Oaks Church of Christ.  Every Monday we have an hour of staff spiritual formation time.  Sometimes singing, sometimes contemplating, sometimes using word pictures.... and always resting with God.  I am so thankful for Monday mornings!

Today, our spiritual formations director gave us the following scripture...

But God made the earth by his power, 
and he preserves it by his wisdom.
With his own understanding he stretched out the heavens.  
When he speaksin the thunder, the heavens roar with rain.  
He causes the clouds to rise over
the earth.  He sends the lightning with the rain 
and releases the wind
from his storehouses.

Jeremiah 10:12-13

We were then asked to choose something from a table.  Some of our choices were a rose, cinnamon, dirt, and a slice of a lemon.  We were ask to look at, touch, smell, maybe even taste (depending on what it was!) the thing that we chose.  We then spent time in silence with whatever "thing" we chose and reading over the scripture from Jeremiah.  We could just sit in the quiet we our thoughts, we could write, it was totally up to us.  The point was, we were free to let God take us wherever He wanted to take us during that time of quiet & rest with Him.

For some reason, I chose a slice of lemon.  I first read through the scripture several times.  And then I began to smell the lemon.  Generally, a lemon makes me makes immediately think of something sour.  But today, when I smelled that lemon while reading the passage above, I found myself at the ocean.  The lemon smelled clean and fresh.  I even in my minds eye envisioned squeezing the lemon and the mist of juice that would be created and spraying out.  It made me think of the mist coming off of the ocean.  I kept going back to the ocean.  Feeling the wind blow in my hair; breathing in the smell of clean, crisp air; feeling the mist of the water on my face.  It was an incredibly peaceful place.

As I read the scripture and thought about the storm, I again thought about the ocean. The ocean can be one of the most calming, peaceful places imaginable; but is can also be a place of raging storms, of crashing water all around.  Yet in the midst of the raging storm, a simple touch from God and the storms are still; the ocean is again calm and peaceful.  As I think about the storms in my own life, today's spirtiual formation time is so meaningful.  One minute you can be in the midst of a horrific, raging storm.  But one touch from God, maybe even through the touch or gentle word of a friend, and the waves are gently crashing into the shore, the mist is hitting your face and you are relaxed again by the calming sounds of the ocean; by the calming spirit of God.  

I wish everyone could experience what our staff experiences on Monday mornings.  There are no Monday morning blues for us.  We ended our time together today by singing the following song.

Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
The anger of the enemy would have swallowed us alive
Had it not been the Lord who was on our side

Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
Had it not been the Lord who was on our side
The waters would have engulfed us, we would have surely died
Had it not been the Lord who was on our side

Blessed be the Lord who would not give us up
Blessed be the Lord for His unfailing love
The snare is broken and we have escaped
Our help is in the name of the Lord
Blessed be the Lord!

My prayer for this week is that I will remember to find God in everything around me.  And I know it can be done.  After all, I found God today in a lemon!


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