21 May 2015

Seeing God’s glory; touched by his presence

Jesus’ solitary time with his Father was more important than his ministry to others.

In fact, his ministry was an overflow of his time with his Father.

If Jesus practiced the discipline of stepping away from the noise and the crowds, then I must also do so.

Beholding the wonder of creation often moves me to spontaneous worship, proclaiming God’s majesty. The Holy Spirit’s presence enfolds me and before I know it, my cheeks are moistened with a steady stream of tears.

I feasted my eyes on the unfolding drama of yet another of God’s evening paintings in the sky, full of oranges, pinks, and yellows. All across the vast eastern horizon was a row of white puffy clouds, like soldiers standing at attention. My gaze spanned across the colorful 180-degree panorama.

One of the clouds grew in height, drawing attention to itself with a pale pink tint. As the sky continued to darken and the sun continued its descent behind me on the western horizon, the color became more and more brilliant. Eventually it became a vibrant and rich hue of pink.

Riveted by the marvel of its beauty, I could not take my eyes off of that particular cloud. It was as if a heavenly spotlight gloriously beamed down on it. God spoke to me through its stunning isolation, reassuring me that all would be well. I have no doubt he will bring ‘pink beauty’ out of darkness.

Step out of the traffic. 
Take a long, loving look at me, your High God.
Psalm 46:10

I had come to this fabulous place for a 48-hour retreat, intentionally setting aside time to obey the command - ‘Be still and know that I am God’.

I was at 8,000 feet in elevation on the Elgeyo escarpment. 4,000 feet below is the floor of the Great Rift Valley.

The view is simply spectacular.

Not wanting to miss the sunrise, I set my alarm for 5:45am. As I dragged myself out from under the warm covers, I watched in delight through the floor-to-ceiling windows in my room.

God is at your service from the crack of dawn.
Psalm 46:5

Yet another dramatic spectacle unfolded before my eyes. A beautiful cloud cover encompassed the floor of the valley far below. During the ever-evolving movement, occasional openings cleared off.

Simultaneously, above in the sky, God’s creation danced as clouds evolved from one shape to another. I was quite enthralled for a solid 90 minutes. This glorious display of God’s handiwork was not yet finished when I headed down the hill for breakfast.

As I enjoyed breakfast, I engaged with the dramatic and glorious spectacle. God’s performance was still very much alive and active. The fascinating movement of the clouds and fog held my gaze.

Sometimes the clouds thinned out, allowing the valley floor below to reveal itself. Simultaneously, some of the clouds overflowed up the escarpment and onto the shelf half-way up the long cliff. Stunning.

Attention all! See the marvels of God!
Psalm 46:8

I stood up for a while to gaze at the beauty as I waited for my chai to be brewed. Patches of wispy fog and areas of delicate mist developed here and there. Then suddenly... the entire panoramic view became a dense, impenetrable cloud that literally came right to the windows. Even though I could see nothing, I sensed God’s tangible presence with me.

God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him.
Psalm 46:1

God, you envelop me in your love.
Your presence wraps around me like a warm blanket.
I am at peace, knowing you are with me.
You are ever-present.
You are my constant companion, so near I can feel you.
When I reach out, I touch you.
I am engulfed in your expansive presence.
I am enraptured by your glory and your love.

[Note: Scripture quotes are from the Message.]


caryjo said...

I sure loved seeing the clouds and the locations and many things. Grabbed my heart and my attention. Sure would love to be there! Loved Uganda for the many times and many months there and enjoyed the couple times in Kenya. Still grabs my heart! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff Deb, to read, think upon, and meditate. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

Well done for beautiful descriptions again and helping me to remember that I should look at the clouds a bit more instead of concentrating on the traffic jam! Ruth