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God and me… Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139: 7-10, NIV Spring Canyon, New Mexico. Come back with me to a day in May 2013, where sun-scorched cacti covered the desolate landscape for hundreds of miles along a barren highway and long, thin, mini tornadoes filled with sand and desert chaff blew their way east, pelting our little car from every angle imaginable. “Wow, would you check out this wind?” I said, flinging my car door open just as a giant gust of wind threatened to rip it from its hinges and hurl it into the air. Burning rays from a hot, hazy sun made my shoulders tingle and my throat thirsted for something wet and cold. I stood firm, amazed at how one after another, twisters and whirling winds rushed in from the low desert, taking flight like a tempest at sea, then appearing to roll up and over whatever obstacle lied in their path. Whoosh, “Hold on, here comes another one!” I yelled as I held onto my hat out of fear that it would be swept so far away that I might not find it. A meager hat became like a sombrero and the only protection to keep my eyes and face from what felt like stinging particles just released from a giant furnace. Tall, red rock formations, rocky crags, and deserted caves covered the seemingly endless landscape, some of which grew a type of long airy moss, dry and chartreuse in color. Even with the aid of binoculars, animals were scarce. High above, enormous black ravens took advantage of the wind scavenging for something dead to eat. Surely, rattlesnakes and lizards must have slithered for cover. My mind began to wonder, how could anything live, let alone grow, in such a beautiful, yet harsh and deserted land. Yet, in the hour or so I spent in that barren place I was privileged to experience one of the most breathtaking quiet-times with the Lord I’ve ever known. I found myself taking it all in, contemplating how God has worked in my life, not knowing what the Lord could possibly have planned for me in the future. Feeling as if I was nothing more than a dot on the landscape to Omnipotent God, what I beheld next caught me totally off guard. I looked closer at the huge rock standing a few yards in front of me, “Oh, oh my goodness! I don’t believe what I’m looking at.” I stammered, “Lord, are you showing me a cross in the side of that magnificent rock?” Instantly, the Holy Spirit prompted me to recall Psalm 139:7-10. I called out loud, “Oh, God, it is you, out here in the middle of the desert, in the middle of nowhere, where I feel so alone and so far from you.” You’re here and that’s where you hold me close, in the cleft of the rock, at the foot of your cross, covering and protecting me, even when I think of how much I don’t deserve you and my life is a total mess. Lord, I’m lost without you and humbly admit that I’m a sinner in desperate need of your mercy. It was on Your Cross, where you died for me. No matter where I go, Lord, you are there. Your love and unending faithfulness fill my soul anew every moment of every day and my heart is filled with awe as I delight in the sure fact that your Word tells me that I’m free to be loved by you, and that I’m valued, and cherished. All from a Savior like you.
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