I went for a “run” Monday. At least that’s what I intended to do. I wanted a change of scenery so I went to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens to run. I also wanted to clear my mind. You see I volunteered to give my testimony this week at my women’s bible study group. We have been studying “A Woman’s Heart” By Beth Moore. I felt a calling inside to do it, but now I am nervous. As I ran my legs felt achy, my breath rugged and unsteady and my mind uneasy. About a mile and a half into it I decided to walk a bit. Passing a part of the garden that always gets my attention, I slowed and strolled past old weathered statues and budding flowers. Ah so peaceful I thought. Then I started to run again, yet still the achy and uneasiness continued. How does one run 13.1 miles one week and can barely squeak out 4 I thought. I stopped yet again and sat near a beautiful fountain. While I sat, taking in the beauty, I prayed for a while asking God to let my testimony be honest, sincere, heartfelt. I remembered Beth talking about the fact that God is so near to us, just beyond a thin veil. Sometimes when I pray I raise my hand up to that veil and feel like I can almost touch him. How wonderous. After a while I got up again and soon passed a part of the garden I had never seen before.
I thought what a peaceful place. I walked along the dewy pathway. Beautiful flowering bushes towered on each side of me lining the emerald pathway. Wonderous shades of blush pinks filled the bushes. Then just at the end of the path sat a worn wooden bench. Just calling me…here, come sit a while. It was as if Jesus himself was calling me to calm my mind and spirit. As if God sensed my anxiety and said….”walk don’t run, enjoy the beauty I have made”. As I approached the bench I could hear the light splashing of water. Just beyond the bench stood a glistening fountain surrounded by spring daffodils in their dazzling array of yellows, pansies of royal purple. Yes I will stay a while I thought. As I basked in all the beauty before me I couldn’t help but think how much more beautiful, beauty beyond description, heaven and the garden of Eden must be. I mean look at all the beauty God has already provided for me. If he took this much effort to make every colorful bloom how much more love he must have for me. That he loves me so much that he desires fellowship with me a sinner. He desires it so much so that he sacrificed his only son for me! How blessed am I that he is available to me anytime, anywhere! How lucky am I to have Jesus near to me, interceding for me to the father. No need for sacrifice or a high priest. Jesus covered all my sins by his sacrifice.
I pray just as the flowers are sweet to smell and beautiful to behold, let my prayers be sweet aroma to you dear God. Lest my heart never forget that you have provided me with all I need. Let me remember to turn to you each day in both good times and bad and know that you are “always sufficient in perfect proportion to our need” (Beth Moore week 2 day 4) That compared to even my greatest human experiences you are so much MORE!
One of my favorite moments, of many, in the last weeks was in week 5 when Beth spoke about us being like the lampstand in the temple. That when you open your eyes in the morning let God whisper to you “Today, my precious child, let there be light” and at the end of the day, when he tucks you in may he delight to say “There was light”.
I ended up with so much more than a run that day, I ended up with my testimony. Thank you God for hearing me and always providing for me. Thank you for slowing me down when I am running through life. May my life please you and may I always be willing to seek you for your forgiveness and peace. In Jesus great name, Amen.
(I ran back to my car and grabbed my phone for the picture of My peaceful Place. It is the picture above.)