Early in the morning before the phone starts ringing and the demands of the day begin pressing all around, I love to curl up in my favorite glider rocker and just think. Pre-dawn darkness covers everything, but a soft light gradually steals into the room. The house is quiet, not yet fully awake. With my back to the lace-covered bay window, I gaze out the sliding glass window to the south. The branches of the mulberry trees arch toward earth, heavy with their fruit. A bright red cardinal hops from one branch to another, calling to his mate. A small, sky- blue birdhouse, its door flanked by two birch twigs, hangs from the mulberry tree. A tiny wren flits about, and then dives into the miniature house. The potted plants on the patio steps provide a splash of color: red, trailing geraniums, brilliant against the white pots. Arching asparagus ferns reach toward the patio. Bright yellow moss roses, a hint of red at their centers, peek from beneath the greenery. My cat Tigger prowls, seeking prey. The birds chatter and chastise him, but they need not fear. He is too fat to catch them.
As I sit, still and quiet, contemplating the early morning peace and the beauty of nature, I sense the presence of God. It is in this setting, when I sit quietly and let my mind wander, that I can hear God’s still, quiet voice speaking to me. In this calm, contemplative state, I open my heart to hear His voice. In the quiet, before my mind races with obligations and responsibilities, I watch. I listen. He responds. He makes His presence known.
Some mornings I meditate on His greatness. Other mornings I listen to worshipful music. As the beautiful notes wash over my soul, and the words seep into my heart, they speak volumes of God’s power, majesty, and grandeur. When I open my Bible, God speaks to me through the written word. Passages I may never have noticed before nearly jump off the page. “Listen to My words,” God says to my heart. “These words are my special message, just for you, just for today’s circumstances.” As I ponder the words, I feel Him in the room, His love washing over my entire being. I cherish this time with God.
Too soon, it is time to scurry about and prepare for the busy day ahead. I would love to take these special moments with me and live in this state forever, but I know I cannot. Even though I wish I could, I am unable to have this lengthy quiet time on a daily basis. Too often, my quiet time with God is far too short. But I realize that He does not intend for me to live entirely on the mountaintop experiences of His love; He wants me to spend time in the valleys. For it is only in the valleys that I can share these experiences with others. It is only in the valleys that others can see God’s presence in me. It is only in the valleys that I can learn and grow. So I go about my everyday tasks, longing for insight into more of God’s grandeur. Someday I know I will see Him face to face; someday I will behold, in full, His glory; someday I will go to the mountaintop where I will bask in His presence for all eternity. In the meantime, I obediently walk in the valleys and try to stay content with occasional glimpses of His glory.
Lord of my life, thank you for the mountaintop experiences and for the walks in the valley. In your wisdom, allow each experience to mold me into your image.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”