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Half Way Up...

A Quiet Place: The Road to Change, Recovery, Boundless Hope and Resilient Joy

"And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;" Isaiah 32:18 KJV

Winter brings its own vibes. An intense desire to burrow down far into yourself and tune out the entire world. Its naked trees reveal the true condition of the world... Naked, wretched, and blind. These trees may also remind you that you have unfinished business, loose ends that need to be tied up; negative people who need to be fazed out of your life, and emotions that are essential to release before they become lethally toxic. Yet winter also presents the world with a re-occurring reality that we all need "change" and "to change".

Embracing change of any sort is not easy for most of us. It usually comes with the realization that there are things in life beyond our control. Perhaps like me you which that Fall wouldn't command the deciduos trees to lose their leaves but only transition them to a dark brown, while still bearing complementary flowers and fruits of gold, silver, cream, peach, light blue, and all shades of red! It is difficult to accept that after a vibrant Spring and a green Summer, dull sceneries void of happy flowers and vibrant greens. And what is the reason? The most insidious 3-letter word...Sin. I can only imagine the heartbreak of Adam and Eve as they first experienced leaves falling... What a shocking change!

Change is inevitable whether it reveals that we are "halfway up" or "halfway down" in our life experiences or our faith. It may be time to let go of a long-held dream, an old unprofitable resolution, or a toxic job; to start a new home, break from old unedifying traditions, start a new healthy lifestyle program, embrace new dreams, separate from a toxic spouse; start a new relationship or career, embrace forgiveness, or give someone a second chance who "doesn't deserve it". Yet the hardest changes are never external but internal. Recognizing that there are broken pieces that still need to be mended in our characters comes with its challenges-- We cannot change ourselves. Only the God who created us can.

God-permitting, as we prepare for a new year, and the Holy Spirit shows us our "need-for-growth" spots, we will need quiet times with God to learn how to allow Him to grow us successfully. We will need a quiet place, far from the rapid paces of our mundane experiences to help us embrace His will for our lives. Things that are deeply rooted will be painful to let go of. Darling habits we have cherished will shrink from being pruned and dreams that are self-generated against God's directives will be crushing to release into His Omniscience. To live for Christ fully, we have to die to self fully. Remember that sometimes God demands a drastic surrender so that through our lives, someone else will be more quickly "saved" from Satan's snares.

So where do I run for my quiet time with God? When I was younger, my reflection times when things were not so joyous were often spent in a certain tree. As I grew older, I found refuge in the tree-speckled landscapes graced with God's beauty and omnipotence. Perhaps this practice was influenced by a childhood poem that impacted me.

The Secret Place

Halfway up a certain tree 

There’s a place belongs to me.

 Two branches make a little chair 

And I like it sitting there. I like it...

And it’s secret too.

No grownup guesses where I go.

And if he should, and climb to it - 

He would not fit, he would not fit.

- Dorothy Keeley Aldis

This poem has been a staple part of my life experience. It constantly reminds me that everyone, even a child, needs a little quiet place to burrow into so that he or she may remain sane and safe. That he or she may become a resilient star of hope to others who are hopeless and a lighted path... a living candle for weary feet to find their way to Jesus. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Psalms 91:1 KJV

Therefore my friends, find a "quiet place" where no one will disturb you and pour out your heart to the Lord. Meditate upon His Word, Will, and aspirations for your life. Ask yourself the hard questions begging to be asked...listen for His answers and obey them. Commit your entire life to His care. Risk being wrong in your past endeavors so that He may be right in His plans for your future. Release your fears and exhale your shortcomings. Christ wants all of you today. Giving Him yourself will recover all you have lost from childhood until now. It is time to allow Him to help you redeem the time wasted in self-pity, past regrets, self-pride, and sinful practices (anything contrary to God's Word) which only promote Satan's cruel agenda to destroy everything in his path.

Leaving 2023, you may be halfway down with depression or failures, but you are also halfway up, climbing on the ladder of faith in God. Don't focus on your feelings. Defy them and give God your heart, your quiet place. He will use it to lead you on the road to everlasting change, recovery, boundless hope, and resilient joy.

"Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven." Psalms 107:30 KJV


  A Song of Praise: 

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