Walking down a well-worn path, there was a sad and lonely bench off to my left. It beckoned me to come and sit for a minute and rest.
A thousand excuses were running through my mind:
“I can’t, I have too many things to do.”
“The bench is so old and tattered, it might fall apart if I sit on it.”
“I have to go off the path, I might get dirty.”
“I could encounter a snake (ewww!) and that would be most unpleasant.”
The random thoughts continued to pepper my mind, and yet, I still felt this pull to go and sit, if even for a minute.
Silencing the screaming thoughts, I began making my way toward the bench. As I made my way, I noticed that there was once a path, but it had been overgrown with brush and debris. The closer I got to the bench, there was a sense of familiarity.
Why did this bench call to me? It seemed to draw me in. Had I been here before? It seemed so.
Finally, arriving at the bench, I surveyed my surroundings. From the vantage of the path it had looked desolate, broken-down, and forgotten. However, as I stood right in front of the bench I saw it differently. It was a sanctuary. A sanctuary that radiated peace.
A huge oak tree provided shade from the sun, or shelter from the rain. There were wildflowers growing all around it in a beautiful array of colors. And the bench – the bench itself was a masterpiece of iron and wood. I felt such peace and contentment as I looked around.
Well, I thought to myself, I’m here, I might as well sit for a minute before I get back on the path heading towards my destination. After all, I have a million things to do and people to meet with.
As I sat, I took a deep cleansing breath and then another. It’s as if I had indeed been here before…. And then, I heard it. The familiar yet somewhat forgotten sound. The sound of the still quiet voice of my friend.
“Hello, I am so happy to see you again! Can you stay for awhile?”
That voice, it took my breath away, and at the same time I remembered. This is my place. My place of sanctuary. My place of peace and rest. My place to sit and talk with My Friend, My Savior – Jesus!
The tears began to stream down my face as I was overcome by His presence and the soothing comfort of His voice. There was no condemnation just a complete acceptance and welcome. I could feel the shame and anger at myself begin to rise because I had neglected this place. Forgotten about it and allowed the “demands of life” to take over.
Then, in an instant they were all washed away as the loving arms of Jesus embraced me, and He spoke to my heart.
If you’re reminded of His love for you – embrace Him again today. He has great plans for you, plans for you to walk in freedom and power with your head held high free from shame and condemnation. His desire is a deeper relationship with you, run to him, then sit and talk awhile.
Revelation 3:20 says,
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
The above story is a vision the Lord gave me several months ago as I was feeling overwhelmed and in a dry dessert season. He reminded me, ever so gently, that no matter how busy I get, no matter where I am, there is always time to sit in His presence and be refreshed.
I don’t know about you, but for me, I am constantly on the go and can keep busy. I often find myself rushing to get in my daily devotionals and read the Bible, so I can get to the tasks for the day. Sometimes, it’s as if my devotions become just another task, an item to check off a list, or it feels like too much of an indulgence to sit and rest in His presence. However, Jesus wants relationship, and relationships take time and conversation. Jesus is never an indulgence – He’s a necessity!!
Take a minute and sit and talk with Him today.