I find solace in walking the wooded trails behind my home. The sound of crackling branches beneath my feet and rustling leaves from the canopy of trees above seems to awaken my senses. Daily things that seemed so urgent are momentarily abandoned as I slow my pace and embrace my surroundings.
Yesterday, I needed the respite the trails offered. It had been a 10 hour wait in ER before mom was finally admitted to the hospital. Overwhelmed with exhaustion, I longed for quiet time to meditate and digest the events of the day.
My plan was to curl up on the sofa and do nothing; instead, I walked the trails. For whatever reason, I sensed there was something God wanted to privately share with me. And so, with walking stick in hand, I headed toward the trails.
I probed the ground with my walking stick in search of anything that might bring inspiration to my emotionally charged day. Frustrated, I bowed my head and silently prayed.
“OK, God, a still voice prompted me to take this walk; what is it you want to share with me? “
Immediately the wind seemed to whisper “look upward” and my gaze was directed to a pine tree with its trunk nearly broken in half; most likely, by an expected storm. The tree appeared to be in survival mode with signs of new growth just below the break as it struggled to find light. In that moment it was clear what God wanted to share with me.
The events of the last few weeks have left me feeling much like the pine tree that stood before me; broken and struggling to reach upward to the light. God understood the heaviness of my heart. My merciful Heavenly Father had directed me to this pine tree to speak to my heart that in my brokenness he was near.
It is our brokenness that attracts God’s attention and reveals our need for His mercy. When we acknowledge our dependence upon Him, the Holy Spirit shines a searchlight to help us find our way. New life sprouts as we reach toward the beacon of light.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Psalms 51:17
“The Lord is near those with a broken heart.” Psalms 34:18
To those who are broken my life circumstances and losses, I say look up. God is near and longs to cradle your heart in His Divine hands and breathe new life into your spirit.
Thanks for sharing, Denise. I love how God lets us know when He wants a little private time. I’m thankful you’re there for your mom (and so many of us). Be encouraged by what Psalm 9s:12-13 promises: “But the godly shall flourish like palm trees and grow tall as the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted into the Lord’s own garden and are under his personal care.” Love you, dear Cousin!