I was driving home from work after a long day at the hospital bedside. As the end of Summer said farewell, the sunsets this time of year added their own salutation with flattering colors of scarlet, mango, and periwinkle to wave their wispy fingers in a too-da-loo gesture. As I drove down a secluded, winding road to avoid toll fees in my commute, I marveled at God’s handiwork brushed across the canvas of the sky. Up ahead a lake swept across the rolling landscape, and the mirror of its waters reflected the pallet of Heaven’s glorious light show.
In awe I whispered, “thank you, Lord,” while mentally the phrase “I love you so much” mixed with my comment of thanksgiving. Like a familiar melody the love song of my soul harmonized with the gratitude of my spirit, and together encapsulated the epitome of my existence. To love Him.
At that exact moment, weighted by the emotion of true love, kept joyful by the restoration of relationship, certain of my purpose forever, I thought, “at least I’ve got that part figured out.”
This year has been one of much heartache. It’s been a jumbled mess of months of uncertainty. The spectrum of my human emotion has experienced the highest highs, but more than that, the lowest lows. The strain of so much out of my control, and the stress of human relationships. I’ve spent a lot of time in disagreement with others this year. And even knowing that the enemy was the one stoking the fire of discord, I found it difficult to extinguish my own flame of anger. Raw emotion had been abraded more than I could stand, and I had found myself wanting to crawl into a hidey-hole, a safe place with just Jesus and me. This year has been hard. Did I say that already?
My point is, I have spent a lot of time this year questioning myself. I would feel the Holy Spirit speak, but then I would feel doubt. I would circle back, again and again. I have spent more time quietly listening to the Lord this year than I ever have before. I’ve spent more time in the Word, craving scripture like the air I breathe. I’ve seen the Lord reveal so many new things to me this year, and I’ve seen my thoughts and words trampled on when others didn’t agree. A lot of my writings are published beyond my personal website, and I had to stop reading the comments of strangers on other platforms that carried my writing. The opinions of others painted me in a less than flattering light. In other words, I discovered the louder you speak words that step on toes, the more likely yours are to be hammered. Aside from hearing from the Lord more this year than ever, I’ve also experienced doubt unlike ever before. People didn’t like what I said. That must mean I’m wrong. Or something like that.
As I drove past the beauty of a sunset reflected on rippling water, I thought of David. That man had made some less than stellar decisions in his lifetime. In fact, he had messed up majorly a time or two. But for me, his mistakes were not what I remembered him for. His missteps didn’t define his character. I had always thought of David as God described him, “a man after my own heart.”
I can’t say if I have the gift of prophecy, but I do know I love the Lord my God more than anything in this world. I’m not sure if wisdom is my forte, but I do desire to love and serve the Lord more than I desire my own life. I may lay down arguments hesitantly, but I will always and easily lay down my life for Jesus. I am sometimes guilty of succumbing to public opinion, but I will never be guilty of not surrendering to God. I don’t know if I’m right about this or that, but I do know I serve a righteous God, a God who is just. I know I love Him, and I love others because of Him. I don’t know if I hear His voice correctly, but I do know I always want to listen. His voice is the one I desire most. I can give up carbs in my diet, but His bread I will always require. I can never seem to quench my thirst for H2O, but His living water satisfies my soul. I don’t need to always be right, or liked, or agreed with, but I do need the love of Him. Thankfully, I have just that. I may not know what the outcome of life will be in the next few months, but I know how to love Him. And that gives me peace.