Walking Towards Hope, from L.Willows
The other day, I went to a nearby garden park that has been closed due to the pandemic. The loosely gated entry has not prevented locals from wandering in for private walks. It is like a paradise inside. Beyond the gate are gardens that volunteers lovingly tend to on a usual year. The crews were absent but their labors from so many years past were still evident. That day was a real gift to me.
I had been praying for a “second wind” in this journey of endurance during home isolation in our region. My heart felt heavy. I was deeply missing loved ones. I felt distant from all that I loved.
Then I stepped beyond the gate of the park. My heart lifted with gratitude that fell over me. Nothing of the world and its concerns seemed real in the gardens. Life seemed to be continuing without knowledge of the news or any updates of what tomorrow might bring. This was an isle apart. I smiled as I listened to birds singing to one another and stepped towards the largest fushia petals that I had ever seen.
Then I stepped amongst delicate yellow buds that reached up to feel the warmth of the sun. My heart melted and I became like a child walking in God’s open green, breathing His sweetened air.
I said to myself, “I am willing to believe that at this moment, everything is new. The bluebells tell be so. The lavender pearl buds on the bushes that run through the field tell me so. The lush green grasses that are dancing in the breeze are telling all that life is moving. A red cardinal flies majestically by. The deep blue of the vast sky lives like the freedom that I long for. I walk but my heart is dancing. My soul is singing to God. I am praising Him.”
He is the Good Gardener. Nothing can prevent or delay God’s Goodness from rising. The Hope of His Presence and the beauty of His Creation lifts our hearts, from wherever we are. I understand that there is no time, but the one that He sets. In the beautiful sky that I gaze at, my heart is set free, I am reminded of the vastness of God Himself. That freedom, which is the Altar of His Presence dwells within each of our hearts. The Gateway is Jesus who is the Door . My prayer was anwered. I had been revived by the sweetness of His Spirit. He led me to these Green Pastures.
John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”
I had been free all the while. Because of the isolation, I allowed my heart to believe that the “walls that I saw” were real. They were really only walls within my own heart. I allowed myself to believe that the limitations of life during home isolation though they were tangible and physically confining did not have to confine by heart and soul. The Good Shepherd, Jesus was leading me once again to the truth of His Kingship and most especially of the gift of salvation.
The Lord, my Good Shepherd had led me to His Green Pasture. There I was, praying for renewal and revival. God sees our hearts, each burden, each care – wherever we live and wherever our walk takes us, He is there. I am so encouraged as I write, yet there is no tangible evidence in life, except that I had the great privilege of this walk. Yet, I realize that the great Glory of our God displays in intangible ways. I am reminded that we can’t always ask to see and have or even feel what we want in a mortal way. The goodness and Glory of God are beyond the gardens of this world, they are only “sighted” by the eyes of our heart when they have been opened by believing.
John 11:40 -Jesus said to her, Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?
That evening in my home, I did not feel enclosed by any boundary nor did I feel isolated. I looked out to the sky and I felt hugged by everything that is good. I felt wrapped in the Presence of God. He is beside us each and with us wherever we are. The paradise that I longed for is a blessed eternity in His Kingdom that is promised to all in His Care. For some reason, the words to a familiar song that we used to sing in Church comes to mind as I write:
I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one…
and we will sing together again!
Hebrews 1:3 -He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
© 2020 Linda Willows