Chipmunks and God’s Rest

“Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”   Genesis 1:24 .

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I am an early riser and this morning, I stepped out onto the open porch area in the mountains where I am taking a bit of a spiritual respite.  In these early morning times, I have been enjoying watching the chipmunks, one of God’s creatures, scurry back and forth, in their search for food, actively climbing rocks, running among the grass and flowers, busily going about their days.

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As I carefully and slowly followed these chipmunks in taking these pictures, I happened to catch one eating from a nut that had fallen on the earth’s surface as you can see in this photo above, and my thoughts reflected on the goodness of our God as He has taken care to provide this much-needed food for those creatures He created to share this world with us humans.

Such loving care God has for these animal creatures, making sure they have nesting places as He sustains their lives.    This hole in the ground in the picture below, is one of these places, a nesting place called home where they busily go in and out of, seemingly, all day long!

This place that is called their home is a place where they hide and is a tunnel of refuge from the world, from predators where they can run deeply within, to escape any threat, or to simply sleep during the night hours, resting in knowing nothing will be able to disturb them in that deep place of safety.

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It is a wonder to set back and view these wild animals where God has lovingly provided them with all they need to survive life on this planet.  When I take the time to consider those animals our Father has placed upon this earth, I have to also remind myself, how much more does He care for us, His human creations?

“O Lord, You have looked through me and have known me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You understand my thoughts from far away. You look over my path and my lying down. You know all my ways very well. Even before I speak a word, O Lord, You know it all. You have closed me in from behind and in front. And You have laid Your hand upon me. All You know is too great for me. It is too much for me to understand.”     Psalm 139:1-6

God’s care for us is unlimited and it is He who provides for our basic human necessities such as food, water, clothing, housing.  He knows our thoughts, all our struggles, and all those unspoken doubts, questions, and concerns.

He cares for each one of us in a personal and relational way as He longingly desires that  we come to Him each day, where we will know completeness, where we discover the deep dwelling place where our Lord fills every crevice, crack, and wound felt in our humanity, where we too find safety, resting in His arms.

This known place in our Lord is our refuge from all this world, from all the worries, from all the conflicts, from all those things that come against us in our days, where we can enter into the rest our God has provided for us.

When we quiet ourselves, creating these places where we can center our inner spirit joining with God’s Holy Spirit, in the deep dwelling place He resides, in the core of our very being, we are ushered into His glory and gifted the rest only found in Him.

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I turned from my activity in watching these chipmunks to reflect and mediate on the morning mist of clouds lifting from the mountains.

As I sat in the sensed presence of God during these wakening hours, watching the clouds lift from these mountains, I could not help but think back in the Old Testament where it was written that God’s Glory was seen as a visible gathering of clouds, expressly given to His people to help guide them, so they would know He was with them in all of their wanderings.

“The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”      Exodus 13:21-22

Although we no longer have clouds as evidence of God’s guidance for us, my heart quickened in a vibrancy that burst from me in songs of Praise from the sensed presence of His Spirit embedded in mine as I viewed the magnificent beauty that misted before my very eyes in this majestic display of His glory.

I felt very much overwhelmed in the manifestation of these clouds as the very presence of God touched my being, as His Spirit rose within me worshipfully.

God’s Holy Spirit spoke volumes to me during this time, drawing me near to His bosom of love, where my only desire was to be still and enter into this place of being in Him, with Him, near to Him.

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”   John 16:13

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Suddenly as if all the trees were an angelic choir, the dawn’s light birthed the arrival of another day and I was overcome in the expansive tangible presence of God in the midst of all these visible bounties in His creations where I saw and felt Him inside me, overflowing in increasing measures from my soul.

As the early morning sun made its way shining light through these forested mountains this Monday morning, I felt grateful for today’s early hours spent in communing in God where I was ushered into His presence, where He touched me in all of whom I am, filling each crevice of my humanity, with His consuming fire of love.

I was thankful for My Lord God’s voice teaching me about the deep refuge of safety known in Him as I watched the chipmunks gain sustenance from the food on the ground, and just as they have been provided a home of protection from all harm, so too have I been provided this same protection in the safety of my Father God’s embrace, in the heart of my home, where He is.

Considering the clouds hovering over the mountains and thinking of God’s glory and knowing the reality of His presence was in all I saw, all I sensed and all I felt, His expansive fullness saturated every deep recessed place in my soul.

When I saw the early sun breaking through the forested hills, God assured me of His consistent presence in the person of the Holy Spirit who lights my path, showing me the way I should walk and through His activities this morning, there was a strong connection to God in it all; His animal creations, the spectacular in nature, the bright light in the sunshine.

In this still place I found respite in my soul, quietly viewing His creation in the beauty that awakened my inner spirit.  I was touched by the tender love of my God, speaking words to me, that He is with me in all of what I experience in this life and if I will continue lifting my eyes to Him, He will continue shining the way in this dark world, where I know my steps have been ordered by a Living God

I felt bathed in God’s goodness and I could sense the deep reservoir of His Spirit Life pouring rivers of His living waters into my mortal body, thankful for another day to live in and by His Holy Spirit, who shines the light of His truth into my frailty, leading, directing and showing me His ways I need to attentively walk in.

I know His promises are true, that just as He provides for the needs of all His creations, including those cute chipmunks I followed around this morning, so He caringly gives to me, full provision of all I require to live this faith life, as I continually allow the Holy Spirit to be who is my guide.

My God has never failed me and His Word has become the way in knowing Him and the Holy Spirit is who activates these words, infusing those truths into the fabric of my tattered being.  I have entered into the places known in scriptures as real rest for my heart, where a blessed peace is an undercurrent of clear streams that continually flow within those deep spaces where I am known by my God.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”     John 14:26-27

I know this same God, whose presence was known to His people in the days where they wandered in the desert visibly seeing Him in clouds, is the same God who sustains all His creatures, is the same God whose presence can be seen in nature, and He is the same God whose presence is given to me each day, sustaining breath in my lungs, where I am known intimately.

The life I know now, is a life richly enhanced by His Spirit life who grants me a supernatural ability in growing into a spiritually mature woman and in His realm, I have safety, refuge and a blessed resting place of known peace.

I know without a doubt, My God lives and it is He who has given me every good gift from above, taking care to fully and more than adequately provide for my every need, of which peaceful rest is His gifted provision, fruits of the rich Spirit Life, who overflows from me.

Just as God provides a deep tunnel in the earth for those chipmunks to call home,  so they can rest from any harmful predator, so my God gives to me a deep place of intimacy known in Him where I have been provided His protection and He has given me refuge in His dwelling place inside me, a sacred space of safety where I can be present in Him, as He holds me in His hands.

The rest our Lord God provides is a place of perfect peace, a peace that is lasting, a peace that lifts me up in and by the ability of this Spirit led life in whose abundance I have been gifted all that I could possibly need, want or desire in this life and I am granted entrance into the Holy of Holies of my Most-High God, ushered into His precious presence where I can feel fully satisfied, at ease, lying in this place of quiet stillness.

 

Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister to the Body of Christ

 

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