Right about now, I am like a balloon pumped full of helium–ready to pop from all of the exciting stuff within me. You see, for the first time in my life, I’ve planned a romantic getaway. I am taking the hubster off somewhere (I can’t spill the beans, because he reads my blog!) in celebration of Valentine’s Day.
I see that man every day. Despite the difficulties of third shift, we manage to be together in some capacity daily–whether it’s just sitting on the couch watching SportsCenter or riding with the other one wherever he/she has to go just so we can be together. But every now and then, it’s nice to have a special, out-of-the-ordinary time together–a time when the TV doesn’t compete for our attention, when the kids aren’t running all around us, when the to-do list doesn’t get done.
It’s the same way with our God. Yes, we are with Him every day. In Him, we live and move and have our being. I’m sure we manage to find time daily–despite our busy lifestyles–to have prayer and/or Bible study. We even “give Him” a couple of hours on Sunday morning and maybe some time on Sunday and Wednesday nights. But it’s nice every now and then to spend a special day with Him–a time for just the two of you to be together, the way you would steal away for a romantic encounter (of the moral kind!) in the natural.
That’s what I did yesterday.
I didn’t plan it, I’m sorry to say. I get so caught up in my busy life that I think I “can’t afford” not to be productive every single day. Well, maybe I “can’t afford” not to occasionally leave behind the workaday world and just soak in Him.
My “romantic encounter” with my Bridegroom evolved as a result of a nasty virus that has tried to attack me for over a week. It hasn’t latched on, thank God, but it has played a game of tennis with me–back and forth, a day of feeling better, a day of feeling under attack again. After feeling particularly challenged and exhausted by this bug on Monday night, I decided to take a mental/physical health day on Tuesday. I had heard people use the “mental health day” term for years but had honestly never taken such a day off.
Tuesday is the day the kids are with their daddy, since it used to be my press day at the newspaper, and the hubster sleeps much of the day. That leaves me alone to teach piano lessons, write newspaper stories, run errands, etc.
Well, this particular Tuesday, it seemed as if my loving Savior orchestrated the day’s events just for me to be with Him. All three Tuesday piano students canceled for a variety of reasons. I found that to be too unusual to be coincidental. So for once, my common sense prevailed, and I made the decision to simply rest for the day.
It was not easy.
I itched to clean out a filing box or two. I wanted to continue my new health regimen and go walking all through the neighborhood. I thought of a zillion and one things I needed to do around the house. But I contented myself with just a few necessary chores–doing a load of laundry, distilling a gallon of water, making some long-neglected phone calls.
And you know what? I had a marvelous day! I actually took time to read a book–a fabulous juvenile fiction book that my son had begged me to read. I dozed on the couch for a while in the afternoon. I took a long, hot shower.
But most of all, I communed with my Maker. His presence was supremely real to me all day long. It was as if He and I had scheduled this time to be alone with each other.
The house was almost totally silent, with just the faint whir of the hubster’s fan in the bedroom and the ticking of the clock audible–comfortable little sounds. The sunshine poured in through the living room window. The very atmosphere was pregnant with His presence.
I knelt/lay in the floor for a while, just soaking in the river of His essence. Meanwhile, my computer played for me worship songs such as Kari Jobe’s “Revelation Song” and Christ for the Nations’ “So Beautiful”–peaceful, lovely songs of praise. I couldn’t get enough of Him.
I took a comfy chair down to the creek bank in the backyard and sat there facing the afternoon sun, hearing the refreshing bubbling of the creek as it meandered toward the mighty Dan River not far away. I opened my Bible to the middle, hoping to land on a Psalm that would match my mood.
It opened to Psalm 19 which seemed absolutely perfect for my natural outdoor setting:
“1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
3 They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
The decrees of the LORD are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb. . .”
All too soon, my romantic getaway with my Lord was over. I had to work that night, covering the Walnut Cove town meeting and writing the stories from it.
But I was all the better both physically and mentally for the day I had spent focusing on Him. His presence provided times of refreshing, as the Scripture says it does (Acts 3:19).
I still smile when I recall yesterday. My sigh of recollection is a satisfied one. I know I’ll feel the same way when the hubster and I get back from our Valentine’s getaway. I’ll smile when I remember the time we spent together. I’ll feel all mushy inside when I recall the love we shared–just the two of us. And our relationship will be stronger for it.
So why do we see the wisdom in doing this in the natural with our spouses but not in the spiritual with our Lord? I’m not talking about drawing aside for a time of prayer; we should do that every day. I’m talking about marking off a whole day on the calendar to be drenched in His love and Spirit, with no outside interruptions.
Maybe you can only do it once a year, maybe once a month. But I encourage you to go for it. It’ll be a day you won’t soon forget–a sabbatical that strengthens your relationship with Him and brings you forth refreshed!
Try it; you’ll like it!
(Click on the link below to hear one of the songs that helped bring me into His presence yesterday!)