I grew up traveling back and forth between the plains of Montana and the woods of Washington and along the way I developed a love for wide open spaces where I could see the vastness of creation and have a visual of how majestic is my God.
I also love the woods and the trees and it was there that I learned how my God loves small, tiny details. That he finds and created beauty in the knotty pine of bark on a tree, the twirl of a leaf in the breeze, the hearts delicately dangling from the stem of a bleeding-heart plant. I grew up knowing both the bigness of God and also how he delights in tiny, seemingly insignificant things.
One morning in my quiet time, I imagined the Lord and I on a walk in the cool woods and we sat down together on a log and I breathed in the scent of Him and breathed out praise to Him. I imagined leaning against him simply enjoying his company and feeling the security of him enjoying me.
As we sat and soaked in the beauty around us, the Lord nudged me and said, “Look at that rock at your feet, let’s pick it up.’
‘Oh, no, let’s just look at it,’ I replied, ‘look at the beautiful designs on it, do you think it’s got some gypsum in it? I love how it sparkles in the morning light.’
‘Daughter, let us pick it up and look underneath.’
‘Oh, Lord, not that!’ I nervously exclaimed. ‘There are bugs and creepy crawly things under there and I just don’t like creepy crawly things. That’s their home, we had best not disturb them, plus, what if they get out and crawl all over this log we’re sitting on. That would really creep me out. I will feel itchy all day!’
‘Daughter, please pick it up. I want to show you something.’
And he did.
He showed me that just as the Israelites would set up monuments to remember some event in their history so I too create monuments in my heart. Monuments of moments in my life. Amazing monuments such as my wedding day or the births of my children or the reconciliation with a parent. Great moments like having one more school year wrapped up. Or having an accelerated accomplishment kind of day.
But some monuments may not be amazing or great, and they seem rather insignificant. Just little stones along my path. Or maybe a hefty size rock. Remembrances of moments of pain and anger. Or bitterness and resentment and how God, in his glorious promise, turned it into something good and instead of being something I stumble over, they have become monuments of moments where I allowed the Lord to turn something ugly into something beautiful.
However, as with all hurts and pains and rejections that have touched the recesses of my soul, sometimes the Lord wants to turn that rock over and examine the underneath, and often, but not always, he finds a little piece of bitterness or unforgiveness that he wants to remove.
I sigh and look up into his lovely eyes and breathe, ‘Couldn’t we have left it alone?’
He turns those love-filled eyes on me and whispers, ‘I love you too much to allow what is unseemly to multiply. I want you to grow in the ways of my love and sometimes that involves letting me see what’s underneath the moments in your life.’
‘But, Lord, it hurts to do that. Couldn’t I just look from a distance, I don’t want to pick up the rock. It still hurts to remember’, I whimper.
‘Oh my sweet girl, that’s precisely why we need to check underneath the rock. The greater the level of your pain, the greater your risk for unforgiveness is.’
And the Lord, gently guided my hand to pick up the rock and as I turned it belly side up to him, he gently brushed the grubs and creepy crawly things away and held my chin in his hand and whispered, ‘Thank-you for trusting me to do what is for your best.’
He kissed me and I glowed as bright as the morning sun.