I love being outdoors! Whether it is day/night or hot/cold outside, I’d rather be enjoying the outdoors than the indoors any day of the week! I recently was talking with a few of my kids. I talked about how in the evening after the sun goes down about my love for sitting on the deck watching the stars. If you have never been out west in the middle of New Mexico the view of the heavens are unbelievable. With no city lights around to dull the view of God’s beautiful creation.
It was another tough day. It was one day of many that one of my children have had to walk through. The frustration and the hurt was great. I could see it in his face and hear it in the somber tone of his voice. On the drive home from church, to make a little conversation, I asked about Sunday School. He told me they talked about 1 Kings 8:56-58 and he began to read those verses in the Bible.
Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant. The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to him. To walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers. (ESV).
As I drove,I thought there couldn’t be a more perfect verse for us to discuss in light of the situation. We walked into the backyard at our home. We sat down on an old porch style swing and began to rock back and forth. The swing creaked with every movement. Moments later the old swing cracked. Just before the swing gave way I had told him to look up. There was one branch of this tree that had already turned to a beautiful color of red. We talked about that branch of this tree that already turned leaving all of the summer green behind. We talked about that branch and how we would never had seen the beauty there had we never looked up.
In the moment, I began to talk with him about God’s desire for us to seek him in all of our seasons of life. It was at that moment the swing began to give way to our movement and weight.
The night before, our family had gathered around a small fire pit to roast marshmallows. The chairs were still set up so we made our way to sit and talk there. After we read the above passage, once again, I looked up and could see two trees. Both of them are large yet one was a bit larger than the other with its limbs full all the way around the tree. Whereas, the other tree was large its limbs reached to the sunlight that comes up from the south.
I pointed out the large tree was well-rounded and full. We observed how it was an obstacle to the growth of the the smaller tree. Yet the smaller tree was still full of life… even thriving in the midst of the the obstacle of the larger tree.
I reminded him of the situation that was feeding his hurting heart. I encouraged him to keep reaching out to Jesus, the Son of God. That as he turns his face toward the Son, Jesus would never leave him or forsake him. Just like those Israelites came to know that God wouldn’t forsake them, my son would also come to know, Jesus will never forsake him. That is a promise we all have. I pray that as you hear God’s voice drawing you to himself, you will not ignore him but rather turn your face to Jesus and lean into him.