A Quiet Place

7 11 2011

Whew! It has been quite a week. An exciting few days filled with joy, busyness, work, traveling, and general chaos. Fall always brings the beauty of God’s wonderful creation and somehow, an extra measure of activities that call for my time and attention.

This is one of those weeks when the description of the disciples and the beauty of Jesus’ words in Mark 6:31 speak deeply to my heart. “And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.”

I am thankful that Jesus calls us to times of quiet and rest. He knows our hearts. He sees their deep needs and answers our desperate longings. The fast pace of our lives leaves little time for stillness. My heart gets banged up and my spirit gets bruised by the whirlwind I try to live in. He knows how much we need the healing balm of His presence, the peace of His nearness, and the fresh perspective that flows from being renewed by His heart.

God knows that there is laundry to fold, dishes to wash, deadlines to be met, and responsibilities to be handled. He also knows that we can become so caught up in the doing that we lose sight of the value of being with Him.

My Jesus Resolution today is accept Jesus’ invitation to come away with Him to a quiet place. I don’t want to miss a single opportunity to move closer to His heart. I am grateful that He wants me to come and be with Him. I am looking forward to seeing God today and finding joy in the quiet moment I spend with Him.

The Holy Land

1 11 2011

I just returned from an amazing adventure. I got to go to Israel and walk in the places where Jesus walked. It was a soul-stirring, imagination-expanding, heart-stretching, faith-infusing journey.

The colors, textures, details, and dimensions of everything I saw are still sinking in. I walked in the shepherd’s field and imagined angels singing about the arrival of Immanuel. I sat on the teaching steps in the temple and listened to His voice call once again for my heart. I dipped my toes in the Sea of Galilee. I wept in the Garden of Gethsemane, hung my head and grieved at Golgotha, and rejoiced in the entrance of the empty tomb.

There is a richness and depth of understanding that flows from being able to see the land that felt His footsteps and heard His voice. But it was its familiarity that took me by surprise.

I have walked in the Holy Lands before. Even though this was the first time to have an Israeli stamp in my passport, I have visited this country many times. So have you. Every time we open our Bibles, we walk where He walked. We visit the temple each time we read through the Psalms, pray with Solomon, stand with Ezra, or walk with Peter. This wasn’t the first time that I have wept in Gethsemane, walked the steps to Caiaphas’ house, or stood in wonder on the Mount of Olives. The hills around Galilee have our footprints as deeply embedded in its soil as it does Christ’s. Each time we read His Word, we walk in His steps and take a faith journey destined to change us forever.

My Jesus Resolution today is to visit the Holy Land…again. I am going to open my Bible and pay attention to the landscape that takes shape in its pages. The mountains are real. The wilderness is desolate and demands dependence. The Jordan River flows through the land, testifying to God’s faithful promises. The palms of En Gedi stand in sharp contrast to the starkness of the Dead Sea, reminding me of the power of Living Water. Walking the Holy Land invites me to walk with the Holy One, and that is what the journey is all about.