“The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1 NASB
Hiking through the Black Forest near Baden-Baden, Germany, I happened upon a clearing that revealed a rustic chapel. Stepping through the unlocked door, I found myself alone, awestruck by quiet reverence. Rustic pews graced each side of the center aisle. Light gently streamed in through side windows. A single candle flickered near the altar. I sat, quietly allowing the stillness to envelope me, wondering if others would enter. They did not. I was alone. I continued to sit, taking in the stillness. Listening, I felt the arms of Jesus enfold me. Enveloped in His presence, and overwhelmed by His beauty and quiet strength, I began to weep. “Heavenly Father, in the stillness of this moment, I feel you, know You, recognize your awesome presence. Here in the middle of the Black Forest, earthly coordinates unknown, I rededicate my life to you.”
A time warp had occurred. Distractions cleared away, cluttering thoughts cast aside, clarity emerged as I removed myself from the cacophony of the rush and hubbub of the city. Like pollution washing away on a rainy day, worldly cares rushed past me. The more I allowed the beauty of the forest and the quietness of the chapel to calm my inner spirit, the farther away I was from worldly cares and the nearer I felt to Jesus.
The Psalmist knew what he was saying when he penned, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1), and “Cease striving and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). The beauty of the Black Forest and the quietness of the chapel had enveloped me with His presence.
- Lord Jesus, how am I incorporating stillness, nature, and beauty amidst busyness I experience in my homeschooling routine?
- Lord Jesus, is place and time and quietness on our family calendar?
- Lord Jesus, is place and time and quietness on my personal calendar?
Lord Jesus, I confess that I have neglected to make space for You by neglecting to place myself and my family in the beauty You have created. Help me to create rhythms of beauty and quietness so that we all might be still and hear from You. And, Lord, help me not to feel guilty to pull away from everyone for quiet moments of prayer and study so that I might be filled by You and return to my family restored and filled by You. Amen.