closed for repairs

It is winter in south FL and our home is brighter and richer because of the arrival of our very favorite snowbird – “MomMom.”

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MomMom and I share a love for her son, a walk in the beautiful salty breeze by the ocean, a good puzzle or a nice long chat.  We both enjoy people, puttering in the garden, hymns played on piano, or a delicious bag of fresh Ranier cherries!  But our most treasured common ground is a love for the Lord and digging into His Word.  While she is with us for a few months each winter, it is a joy to share our latest questions or discoveries about God’s truth – to crack open our Bibles side by side in search of answers and a deeper appreciation for our Savior.

This morning, while the house was still quiet and MomMom wasn’t up and about yet, I came across a few verses in Daily Light about God’s strengthening power in our lives:

The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.  [Psalm 68:35]

He gives power to the weak and to those who have no might He increases strength.  [Isa 40:29]

Though our outward man is perishing, the inward man is being renewed day by day.  [2 Corinthians 4:16]

How encouraging to know that God’s limitless power and strength are available to us!  But I wondered how that strengthening or renewing process takes place?  I felt the urge to dig deeper, ask some good questions and pray for understanding.

But I remembered that I had promised our favorite snowbird that after a month of rain in “sunny” south FL, we would take advantage of the first dry day to go for a walk on the beach!  The Lord knew my heart, and that unexpected tug between longing for answers and fulfilling a promise.  He seemed to whisper, “go to the beach… I will go with you… look for what I have to show you there!”  So with a slight guilty feeling that I was “playing hookie” – off we went.

A few of our fun discoveries from today:

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Hmmm… What could the Lord be trying to tell us here?!

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An anchor – so cool!  I think the heart of a boat-lover in me skipped a beat! ~ “we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast.” Hebrews 6:19

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We were happy to lose our shoes and walk through the water, letting the sudsy foam wash over our feet.  It was beautiful and refreshing.

And a fairly typical clam shell, washed up on shore in a tangle of seaweed.  It looked like it had been attached to something that changed the way it was formed – how interesting!

lantana beach walk (8)A whole section of the beach covered in millions of tiny pieces of broken shells…  the pieces had been ground so fine that the edges were no longer sharp.  All of those broken pieces, mixed with the sand and the salt water shimmered like flecks of gold in the sunlight.

Lost in our individual pondering, MomMom and I didn’t talk much, but we cherished our walk on the beach today!  I believe the Lord was with us, touching our hearts in familiar and unfamiliar ways.  As I let our scattered discoveries turn over and over in my mind, I wondered if there were lessons in these “fun finds” along the shore.  And I wondered if the bigger lesson was realizing the merit in simply taking time out of our normal routine to come to this quiet place!

I thought of the Lord Jesus taking time from His ministry to withdraw to lonely desert places, mountainsides long before dawn, to PRAY.

His Father met Him in those quiet times when He stepped away from busy days.  It was in those times that He was strengthened, directed, when He might have poured out His heart to the Father about things that troubled Him, people He longed to reach with His truth. 

If the Lord, Himself, made this a priority, maybe a trip to the solitude along the coast isn’t a guilty pleasure after all – but a vital part of my own walk with God, where I can talk with Him and He can teach me lessons in beautiful, tangible ways!

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I started my day wondering exactly how God’s strengthening and renewing process works.  When hard work and long hours leave me weary and worn, it may be a sign that I need to be “closed for repairs.”  I need time to come aside from busy days, to slow down, to be still, to notice things, to ask questions, to wonder – I need open-ended time to PRAY.

Before I look for answers, before I write, before I carry on with my day, I need to PRAY.  I need the Father to remind me where my hope is anchored, to let God’s truth wash over me like sudsy foam, allowing all my broken parts to be softened and molded so they can sparkle in His light and display the undeniable and permanent impression of His character as He changes the way I grow.

I thank God that when I feel depleted, His strength and power are limitlessly available to me!  May He help me to make wiser choices that allow time and space for His strengthening and renewing process to happen – to make prayer in those quiet places a bigger priority – to have eyes to see and learn beautiful lessons from the fun things He plans for me to find!  And maybe to do so, MomMom and I need to walk in the salty ocean breezes more often!

For You will light my candle, the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness… As for God, His way is perfect… It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect… You have given me the shield of Your salvation, Your right hand holds me up and Your gentleness has made me great.  Psalm 18:28, 30, 32, 35

 Read more here!  Matthew 14:23 – Mark 1:35 – Luke 5:16, 9:18, 9:28 – 1 Samuel 30:6 – Hebrews 6:19

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