Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Camping (07/11/05)
TITLE: CAMPING OUT IN THE LIGHT OF GOD’S LOVE
By Billie Jean Millen
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I reclined on the inexpensive recliner lawn chair purchased on closeout at the local discount store, luxuriating in the beauty of the clear, starry evening.
Low in the sky, I could still see the comet recently discovered by excited astronomers. Though it encompassed millions of miles, in the vastness of the heavens, the comet looked to be less than Â˝ inch long!
The endless expanse of sky, deepening to nightâ€™s darkest blue, revealed His majesty and brought fresh awe at the matchless wonder of His handiwork. I remembered Psalm 63:6, where the Psalmist spoke of remembering God and meditating on Him in the night watches. Did he gaze on these very same stars?
â€śItâ€™s beautiful here, Lord.â€ť I moved here, having recently obtained a promotion and a transfer. I was thrilled because the peacefulness and beauty of this place touched me to the core of my soul. Already I felt at home.
â€śYou know what gets me, Lord?â€ť I whispered, my hands locked behind my head, my gaze heavenward. â€śPeople that think the universe just happened. How can they think the order of the heavens just happened? How can chance ever ascend to order? As a person who works in the field of law, having to follow where the evidence leads, I would say the evidence speaks in favor of an Intelligent, Involved Creator. You, Lordâ€ť
The stars seemed to twinkle back at me, making me smile.
In quiet meditation, I sought God and found Him. I tossed away the morass of lifeâ€™s heavy load and worldly cares, and found the Treasure of Godâ€™s nearness. This was the closest to heaven I had ever felt. The Lord was real to me; He was there.
â€śI have missed you.â€ť He told me.
â€śIâ€™ve missed You, too, Lord. More than I ever realized.â€ť
I felt His strong presence; sympathetic, and compassionate, and He placed a comforting spiritual arm around me. He revealed to me that I had hurt Him by my absence; by failing to walk with Him and follow His perfect plan for my life. Of course Iâ€™d made a huge mess of things.
He regretted I had let His gifts to me go unclaimed. His pain was that of a parent who had only the best interests of his wayward child at heart. His hurt was a poignant pain that saw through the brokenness, to what might have been, and yet moved forward to healing, restoration and what could yet be.
â€śLord, how can I get it right this time?â€ť
â€śTrust in Me with all your heart and donâ€™t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Me and I will direct your paths.â€ť
I remembered those verses from Proverbs 3. â€śLord, I trust you with everything. From now on, I want to walk with You. No looking back, no excuses, no turning away. No more living small, running scared, and doing life my way. I want what You have for me. Thank You for being there and not deserting me when I lost my way. Iâ€™m so sorry I let you down. Please forgive me.â€ť
I trekked out of the darkness that once enveloped me and nearly destroyed my soul. Why had I once chosen darkness over light? When had night become more desirable than day? I guess it was the day I fell for Satanâ€™s lie and discovered that while sin may have seemed attractive, it left me empty, disillusioned, and dirty. It cost me far more than I ever intended to pay and brought me farther down than I ever thought I could fall. Yet from this barren land of self-destruction, God reached down and lifted me up, cleansed me, forgave me and gave me my life back. I owed Him everything and He and I both knew it. In that beautiful summer night, I basked in the loving forgiveness of the Lord.
Now, no matter how life unfolds or what surprises it brings, I will be all right because Iâ€™m setting my tent and camping out in the light of Godâ€™s love.
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