Have you ever experienced God speaking to you through nature? The other evening, I had a transformative experience as I listened to God reveal His heart for me during a nature walk.The aftermath of a heavy rainfall left the creek rushing over spillways. Yet, the stream was calm and peaceful. Only the ducks left mild ripples on the waters’ glossy surface. The water was as shiny as a mirror reflecting the trees and clouds of the parks’ surrounds. The evening sun dappled and rayed, casting long shadows. It soon melted into pinks and oranges yielding a perfect golden hue…. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful evening for a stroll. My body colluded with the evening’s tranquility and resisted my plans for a fast workout. Gradually, I eased into nature’s cue to amble instead.
While walking back home, my hands slid across the long wet leaves of large plants as crickets began their twilight din. The cool moist air, and the perfect beauty and stillness of the evening put me in a meditative state. An unresolved issue I needed to resolve in my marriage came to mind. Just as the pain bubbled to the surface, God’s answer seemed to be just as near. The serenity of the moment felt like a reflection of the Lord’s desire for my life. Just like the refreshing cool and calm after the rain, I felt the Lord offering a gentle refreshing for my soul, if I accepted. Breathing a prayer, I whispered, “Lord, bring refreshing. Will You bring peace to our marriage just as You’ve brought this calm after this rainstorm? Lord, bring encouragement.”
The Moment of Reconciliation
Upon returning home, I invited my husband to share in the evening’s glamour while offering heartfelt words of apologies and forgiveness. Graciously, he accepted and forgave me. I’m fortunate to have such an amenable husband. Knowing all was well, my heart rejoiced and soared.
At last, my soul’s burdens were lifted. Yet, another part of me longed for the same kind of relief. My body yearned to continue the dalliance of repose.
Tuning in to the Body
I then tuned in to my body to see what it really needed and felt. After sloshing through puddles, grit and mud in my minimally soled Earth Runners for months, my feet pined for some care. A foot bath and face mask sounded like the perfect treat for my well-worked feet and happy, relieved soul.
I heated up some filtered water on the stove and filled my sink with the clean hot water. Next, I sprinkled in dried lavender flowers while mixing up a stew of rooibos, lavender and honey into my tea pot.
Soon my feet softened to the warm epsom salt water and my face flinched as the chilly mask met my cold skin. I breathed and rested,… breathed and rested, …and breathed and rested some more. With each breath, another layer of stress rolled off. A recent argument had been resolved and my heart rested in total surrender – the calm after the storm.
Finally, I relaxed my body, listened to my thoughts and slowed my thoughts down. Quieting my thoughts, I breathed in deeply listening to the silence.
What a precious little retreat I carved out for myself from our busy family life. The memories will glow on in my spirit.
Think about it. What if I hadn’t slowed down my walk? Suppose I hadn’t noticed the beauty in the nature around me – the flowers, the smells, the air, the reflections…? Imagine I hadn’t prayed the prayer? Consider if I had followed my schedule to work instead of savoring the precious moments with my husband and daughter? I would have missed out on finding peace in unexpected places and ways. I would have missed out on a transformative experience through hearing God speak to me through nature!
Let’s all remember to quiet our lives, thoughts and souls long enough to feel God’s gentle invitations to bring refreshing to our souls. He longs to speak to us in many ways but nature is often a way He chooses to speak to us. Let’s take time out…even if it’s just a short while, to give our bodies the care they need. And finally, to remember… there is a calm after all storms.