Lessons From The Back Porch Sanctuary
by Laura Anne Harrison
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A little less than two years ago, our back-porch stoop and steps were replaced with a larger screened-in back porch by the skilled carpenter hands of a friend and fellow church member. Little did he know that, in addition to creating a more pleasant outside place for family and friends to gather, he was rebuilding the “secret sanctuary” where I meet with God and sit at the feet of Jesus.
In the early dawning of each day and in the hush of the darkening evening, the new back porch is the “Sanctuary” to which I retreat. It is there that I curl up in the lap of God, bury myself in the fragrance of His robe, and allow Him to hold me close. Together, we watch the sun peep over the trees and into the fenced-in cattle pasture that borders our backyard. I feel the cool morning breeze and, as we walk through the day into early evening, I know that God is right beside me, wrapping me in His Mercy and covering me with the depths of His Love. I know that whatever the day or night might bring, God spreads His wings to protect me from harm, He catches me when I fall, and He flies next to me when I soar. I feel God’s Peace and trust that I am exactly where He means for me to be.
After many little conversations with God in this “Sanctuary of His Presence, I have found that He has many lessons to teach me. Among them are the following:
1. When I think the tasks in front of me are “impossible” to complete, God reminds me that all things are possible: “And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” – Luke 18:2.
2. When I think, “I cannot do this anymore,” God gives me His Word: "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13.
3. When I feel too tired to complete the tasks in front of me, God beckons me: “Come to me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28.
4. When I cannot figure things out, God assures me that He will direct my steps: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
- Proverbs 3:5-6.
5. When I feel that I just cannot go on, God guarantees that His Grace is enough: “My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” – II Corinthians 12:9.
6. When I think I am not capable of doing the tasks in front of me, God whispers, “I AM”: “God is able to make all grace toward you; that ye having sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” – II Corinthians 9:8.
7. When I feel that what I am doing is not worth it, God promises that it WILL be worth it: “ . . .all things work together for good to them that love God, to those called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28.
8. When I wonder if I can manage all that has been placed on my plate, God gives me assurance: “. . . my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19.
9. When I am afraid, He convinces me that: “. . . God have not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – II Timothy 1:7.
10. When I am worried and frustrated, God tells me to: “Cast all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” – I Peter 5: 7.
11. And when I feel alone, He promises: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” - Hebrews 13:5.
God’s lessons go on and on. . . Some, I have learned well. Some, I find, still need work. Thus, my little conversations with God in the Back Porch “Sanctuary of His Presence” will continue through forever. . .
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What a wonderful glimpse into your prayer life...I loved this.
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Laura, I loved this. Its so peaceful and serene. Wish I had a back porch sanctuary like yours:) Thank you so much for the verses, too. This is an awesome piece! Laury