Yesterday I came outside early in the morning while the dew lay heavy on the grass. The smell of fresh cut grass was potent and caused me to pause a moment and breathe it in deeply. Immediately my mind went to a familiar hymn entitled “In the Garden” written by C. Austin Miles in 1912. There is an interesting story about how he came to write this beloved hymn at the following link if you care to read it. https://www.godtube.com/popular-hymns/in-the-garden/
The refrain from the songs says in part, “And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and tells me I am His own…” Over the years I’ve met many people who enjoy a daily walk with Jesus. They look forward to spending time in God’s creation, walking a trail through the woods, down a country road, or just through the neighborhood. Some elderly folks I’ve visited spend time in their garden or on their porch or patio talking with Jesus.
I have also encountered people who say that God doesn’t talk to them. What about you? Do you spend quiet time with Jesus each day, away from all the distractions? Do you listen as much as you talk? Are your prayers merely a wish list of things you want God to do and bless? Have you ever just asked God what He wants to say to you, then just stopped and listened for that still small voice?
With so many voices clamoring for our attention these days it is more important than ever for Jesus’ followers to take time to listen for God’s voice. Don’t believe God speaks to you? He does. But first you have to quiet all the other voices, remove the distractions, and wait (which can be hard to do when life keeps reminding us how busy we are). Because I am easily distracted and my mind is constantly thinking about something, it helps me to put on soft, instrumental music when I need to listen.
Whether or not you hear an audible voice, a thought crosses your mind that corresponds to His Word, a beloved hymn comes begins to play in your head, or you “hear” nothing, God is speaking. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1) The indescribable, uncontainable, God who created the universe, made you, too. He knows everything about you and sees the depths of your heart and loves you unconditionally. From the smallest atom, to the situation you find yourself in right now, he knows and he cares. Whenever you want to talk, he’ll listen. He created the entire cosmos, so that he could have a relationship with you.
My challenge, my prayer is that you will spend some quiet time with our amazing God today. Go for a walk. Sit on the porch, Look out the window. Let go of the need to be busy for just a few minutes and listen. Who knows? He may just surprise you .
“And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.”
Grace and peace,
NOTE: Pastor Pam Sutherland’s charges include Fort Gibson United Methodist Church in Castlewood, VA, and St. Paul United Methodist Church in St. Paul, VA.