Long time, no post, right?! Don’t think for a moment that I forgot about you; I’m ever thankful for the opportunity to encourage and strengthen you.
It’s just summer, with its extra activities and odd schedules.
But now I’m sitting in part shade (very important in these hot summer days) on my old wooden bench outside. Sit down a moment with me. Let’s see if we can cool off and be encouraged together.
My eyes close and my mind wanders. . . way out-of-town to the hills and hot roads around Judea. Close your eyes along with me. Imagine. . . down the road ahead. . . Jesus and His disciples walk together.
Let’s walk that gravelly path, too. Did your foot wobble a little on the uneven surface like mine did? Feel the heavy heat. Smell the dust. It’s not an easy walk, but did you catch that faint nip of cool air from the Sea of Galilee? Birds twitter. Are there mosquitos? Hmmm…
On they walk. Hear them talking, asking questions, a smile and a laugh here and there–good company. Watch their hands motioning. See their eyes–a glance down the road, then always drawn back in awe of Jesus?
That’s what I’ve felt these past weeks. Awe for the way God moves in my life. I know the sweet glimpse of God’s sovereignty when a Sunday morning Bible lesson on worry that my husband and I prepared for the college/young professionals class moved in theme so beautifully with the sermon on prayer our minister offered after class in worship. I’m humbled by the way He interweaves lives to offer hope to the discouraged, from a random phone call to a stressed co-worker. And I’m thankful for the loving band of friends He puts around us, to encourage and sharpen us on as we walk down this gravelly road in the heat.
Speaking of those friends, I recently had a birthday and some of them were there! The day’s high temperatures had ended with a huge thunderstorm that was just ending. We traveled down branch strewn streets with powerless traffic signals. First one place, and then another, until we finally came to a favorite restaurant that did have power. It was an adventure made joyful by good company.
Friends were kind and gave me thoughtful gifts and cards. I’ve been enjoying the gifts since and the cards will line our kitchen window sill a little longer. One thing I really loved seeing was all the envelopes. I know that sounds funny, but I loved seeing my name written with each different hand and noting how the handwriting was so much like the person who wrote it.
And that makes me think of Jesus. Writing in the sand something that caused the adulterous woman’s accusers described in John to vanish. Mercy. My name written in the book of life. Mercy. And there I am with the disciples–a quick glance at the road, then eyes back on Jesus. So what does it matter if it’s hot? Let’s keep walking; we’re in good company.