I often wonder if David ever went back and visited the spot where God used him to wallop Goliath.
Or if Paul paused later in life on the road to Damascus where God had knocked him crazy bold with His grace.
Did Mary ever go back to the spot where the angel first gave her the ridiculously impossible news that she would carry Jesus into the world?
The whole earth is filled with God’s glory, but in some places He just seems more present than others. Or we are paying closer attention. Some call them “thin places” where the boundary lines between heaven and earth are barely discernible.
Friday I got home from a trip to Great Britain, feeling a little “off”. Jet-lag or being out of a healthy soul rhythm. So Saturday morning I went back to one of those thin places – a path I walked daily during a season when many of those days were filled with pain and confusion. It is a path where I have praised God and also cried out to Him in utter despair. It’s a place I return to because it is filled with reminders of His presence and faithfulness.
As I walked yesterday I remembered an early morning after a powerful thunderstorm years ago that had echoed the sounds of the storm in my own life at the time. The next morning as I was walking around “my” lake I came to a place on the path where there was a bird who had been pelted to the ground by the storm…battered and broken. I couldn’t tell if there was any life left in him, but it didn’t look good.
I thought, “Lord, that’s a picture of how I feel. Half the time I’m numb. Unconscious. Battered and exhausted. Every once in awhile I regain consciousness and try to move my wings, and figure out how to fly again. But it just hurts and I collapse in pain again.”
Though this was the way I felt, as I continued to walk this path that represented my journey with God, I had memorized Lamentations 3:21-24 “But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed. His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself: The Lord is my portion. I will wait for Him.”
That morning and in the days after, slowly, ever so gradually, God changed the picture in my mind. He added to it. I was still that mangled, broken bird, but gradually, I saw myself gently scooped up into the loving hands of God, shielded, nurtured, bound up, healed. I was an injured bird, cradled in Hands that treasured me and would restore my strength.
Yesterday as I finished my walk, and my memories of God’s faithfulness, these are the words I encountered.
Where is “that place” for you? Is there a chair, or a chapel, a path or a beach where you feel God has shown up in ways you can’t deny? I’d love to see you post your place or your experience in the comments so others can be encouraged. If you’re a first time commenter and it doesn’t show up immediately, don’t worry, it will!
If you are new to faith and haven’t experienced this, let me share what I prayed every morning I walked that path: “Lord, what do You have to show me about Yourself and myself today?” Give it a try!