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 ½ inch long!
The endless expanse of sky, deepening to night’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?
“It’s beautiful here, Lord.” 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.
“You know what gets me, Lord?” I whispered, my hands locked behind my head, my gaze heavenward. “People 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, Lord”
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 life’s heavy load and worldly cares, and found the Treasure of God’s nearness. This was the closest to heaven I had ever felt. The Lord was real to me; He was there.
“I have missed you.” He told me.
“I’ve missed You, too, Lord. More than I ever realized.”
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 I’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.
“Lord, how can I get it right this time?”
“Trust in Me with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Me and I will direct your paths.”
I remembered those verses from Proverbs 3. “Lord, 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. I’m so sorry I let you down. Please forgive me.”
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 Satan’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 I’m setting my tent and camping out in the light of God’s love.
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