Ahhhh! A warmish sunny Sunday afternoon in November. It had been weeks since I had been able to go for a walk outside, and winter would soon set in; I grabbed a jacket and a notebook and headed out the door. The sun quickly slipped behind a few clouds, but the fresh air felt good anyway. I climbed down some rocks to walk along the river; it is one of my favorite places to be. The river and the sound of the waves seem to quiet my soul and allow for reflection in my heart.
The sun was still hiding and with the air chilling, I slipped in a request for the rays to warm me. I continued to walk along the water, lifting my heart to God, seeking wisdom in trials I was facing and praising Him for the beauty around me. Again, I asked for the sun to shine. The walk did not seem “right” with out it. The sun just does something for me, warming my soul along with my skin. Getting chilled, I progressed from asking and began to whine. “Lord, let the sun shine…. Why won’t you let it shine now?...You’re the One in charge of those clouds… You can move them….just move them… I want sun!....I need the sun…” I tried to sound more pitiful than demanding, but I felt I deserved the sun after a particularly long and busy month.
I sat on a large log and got out my notebook to journal, but no words came. No inspiration. Even the previous reflections vanished as I stared… no, glared at the clouds covering up the sun. The wind picked up and with the chill setting in even stronger, I gave up and headed home. “Well, God, if you’re not going to warm me with the sun, then I’m going home.” It felt as if, once again, God had not come through for me. Feelings of self pity began to wash over me, leaving me feeling alone in the world with no one to count on. (I do know this all sounds rather petty and childish, bear with me though.) It was a classic Elisha moment – you know, like sitting under a weed pouting after winning the Battle of the Prophets.
Within just a few minutes I felt the warmth on my back and arms. The clouds had moved. I had given up too early. I felt God say “You need to wait on My timing. I am in charge, not you. I am the One holding the big picture. You need to trust Me. Trust that I am at work in your life. Don’t run ahead of Me.” Immediately, I felt childish for my little game of “If you’re not going to play my way, I’m taking my toys and going home.” God’s waiting was not without purpose. Just who, exactly, did I think I was? And just who did I think I was dealing with? Repentance was in order.
I stopped in my tracks and turned to face the sun. With eyes closed, I basked in the warmth and comfort it brought. I thanked Him for the sun. Upon opening my eyes, it seemed the rest of the sky had dimmed. Was a storm coming? Had it gotten later than I thought? But nothing had changed except the focus of my eyes. By comparison, everything else around me had dimmed.
I love how God will use a walk and childish behavior to illustrate my need for Him and Him alone. It is so easy to get caught up in all the busyness and “urgencies” of life. It’s so easy to buy the lie that my life is all about me. But, when the Son shines on my face, and I turn to bask in His light, everything else fades in comparison. The more I have of Him, the more He shines in my life, the more I want. More of Him, less of this world… and less of this me.
In Hot Pursuit,