I have a regular routine in my life. When stress begins to mount up (thankfully not very often) I “run away” to be alone with God. I need time to share my concerns with Him and to listen to His quiet voice. No other voice will work but His, and He has never once failed to give wisdom, strength, encouragement and answers for the stress.
This happened to me recently–I grabbed a notebook, pens, water bottle, sandwich and phone (since a Bible app is on it) and headed up the mountain on a trail I know well. It was a gorgeous day to think, pray, reflect, hike and listen. After you look at these gorgeous photos, please read the rest of my thoughts below.
I ended up hiking seven miles that day, stopping midway for lunch and to look at scriptures and write in my journal. It was a fantastic day, but when I sat down to write I was attacked by a bunch of horseflies. I was angry and had no option but to get up and pace back and forth as I wrote in my journal. I did this because I was determined to hear what God had to say! Among other things, I learned that, once again, as always, God did speak very clearly to my needs. I learned that struggles, interruptions, misunderstandings, and disappointments are inevitable and normal. I learned to literally keep walking with God through those times; don’t quit or despair; don’t get angry or stop trying. Persist in your faith and keep walking with Him–trusting, listening, pouring our your heart, waiting–and you will soon know how to handle the common difficulties of life. You will also have discovered the greatest Friend, Counsellor and Refuge of all! A friend thanked me for sharing this story with her and her daughter, and made a brilliant observation: “You probably wouldn’t have remembered that day without the horseflies!” How true! This meant a lot to me, especially coming from someone that has experienced far more hardship than I have.
In conclusion, I love this quote I just read in a devotional by Beth Moore, because I was thinking the same thing after hearing from someone who has a different belief system from me:
I was overwhelmed at the difference between my loved one and me. He believed the things he had been taught…I didn’t just believe. I knew. I gently said to him, “My God is not just Someone I believe in. He’s Someone I know. I’ve felt His presence. I’ve seen His activity. I’ve experienced His deliverance. I’ve been touched by His healing. I’ve witnessed answered prayer. I’ve ‘heard’ Him speak straight to me through His Word. Yes, I believe. But more than that, I know.” –Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 402