We walked along the rocky path of the Arboretum, together yet separate. We were not touching, simply striding alone on the same path. We were agitated with my daughter and son-in-law. They were fighting again, talking about divorce, and not thinking of their two young children. My husband and I were uptight and it showed in our tense conversation with each other.
We reached a fork in the path, and decided to take the longer trail. As we came around the bend, there was a wooden bridge over a deep gorge. Halfway across, he took my hand and said “listen.”
I stopped and heard nothing, except the faint chirp of a bird far in the distance.
“It’s quiet and still. I think we are supposed to stop here.” We bowed our heads and simply prayed, “Lord, speak to us.”
Over the next fifteen or twenty minutes, all was silent and still. His head was bowed in prayer and I laid down on the bridge, looking upward.
On that bridge, a miracle occurred. In disorder, I prayed for my daughter and son-in-law, their salvation, their marriage, and their children. I finally quieted my thoughts and focused on God. Looking up at the incredibly blue sky, I saw a circle made by the treetops. I repeated only the name of Jesus and heard it echo softly back to me. On one return echo, I heard a few lines from the song “El Shaddai.”
‘El Shaddai, El Shaddai, El-Elyon na Adonai, Age to age you’re still the same, By the power of the name.’
Tears rolled from my eyes to the bridge as I knew once again that God is in control, that only He can quiet storms and fears within me. He is El-Shaddai (Almighty God, All-Sufficient), El-Elyon (Most High), Adonai (Lord). He alone pours out sufficiency and is worthy of being called the Most High Lord.
At almost the same time, my husband and I looked at one another and felt at peace. We talked softly, and my husband told me the words that came to him were ‘Come, now is the time to worship, come, now is the time to give your heart, come, just as you are to worship, come, just as you are before your God.’
In our distress, we forgot that God is God, unchanging and faithful.
The bridge was a symbol of the crossbeam carried by Christ. He reminded us that He already bore all our burdens; in fact, we were standing on that same crossbeam. We can stand upon Him daily for our strength.
We were chastised, yet forgiven when we realized our error and repented.
As we left the quietness of the bridge, we realized that birds were chirping loudly. We were amazed and awed that our Creator turned off the volume of His creation so that we could hear Him.
We walked along the rocky path of the Arboretum, together, hand-in-hand, no longer encumbered. Our children are safe with God.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
El Shaddai: Michael Card and John Thompson
Come, Now is the Time to Worship: Words and Music by Brian Doerksen