Bonnie Gray is author of Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul To Rest, garnering starred review praise from Publisher's Weekly, named as one of PW's top 6 notable new religion authors. Bonnie is a featured contributor at (in)courage and her writing is nationally syndicated, spotlighted by Relevant Magazine, Catalyst Leadership, Today's Christian Woman, and Christianity Today. A UCLA graduate, Bonnie has been a missionary, ministry entrepreneur and Silicon Valley high-tech professional. Bonnie serves up shots of faith for the daily grind on her blog Faith Barista.com. Bonnie lives in Northern California with her husband Eric and their two sons.
Sometimes I wish vacation was just around the corner. There is something special that happens when you know vacation is coming. As you go about your day, you breathe deeper. You know you can make it. Rest is coming. Vacations are great, but honestly, they are few and far between. What are we left to do in the meantime?
Sometimes, the everyday demands of life can leave a fray on our souls. Add on top of that, the stress of a less than perfect job, relationship, health -- or an extended period of waiting -- and our souls can easily start to grow calloused. It's like a natural defense mechanism kicks in. We don't want to feel so much. We turn to "auto-pilot" mode. We unconsciously move into a survival mentality and focus on the tasks at hand. We become invisible, even though we go through the motions. Our souls were never designed to merely live functional lives.
God's original habitat for us -- from the very beginning -- included three gifts:
a garden (beauty)
1-1 friendship with Him (intimacy)
The Garden of Eden was perfect because it afforded an uninterrupted time away from life-draining work. We may not have a physical Eden any more. But, God has provided a better way: a true escape within us. Himself. We often feel guilty for not drawing close to God enough, but the truth is this: God can find us even in the most desolate places. Sarah's mistress Hagar could not see a way out of Genesis 16:7.
She ran to the desert. It was there that the Lord spoke to her.
"You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." ~ Genesis 16:7-14
God is the living One who sees me. This is how Hagar found the strength to return to less than favorable living arrangement. I don't know if you're in the desert starting this week off. I'm not saying your life has to be full of troubles or hardship. The soul's desert places exist within. When our souls long for escape -- from someone or something -- we have an answer.
It isn't guilt.
It isn't try harder.
The answer is The God who sees me. Wherever you find yourself this week, you are never so far that He cannot find you.
God will speak.
Which of the three Eden gifts are you hungering to escape to find --
- a garden (beauty)?
- relationship (community)?
- 1-1 friendship with Him (intimacy)?
Pull up a chair. I love company and enjoy hearing your thoughts. Share a comment.
By Bonnie Gray, the faithbarista serving up shots of faith for everyday life.
Bonnie Gray is an inspiring Christian writer and blogger, offering encouragement to keep faith fresh in the daily grind. Her writing springs from the belief that the beauty of faith often takes place when life goes off script. Bonnie is the Founder of faithbarista.com and featured writer for Hallmark subsidiary DaySpring's (in)courage. Bonnie is a native Californian living in the heart of Silicon Valley with her best friend Hubby, wrangling their two heaven-sent boys on the homestead.
** Don't miss! ** Today's post is part of a special series on Faith Barista: 31 days to feed your soul. click to subscribe by email and get each post in this series served up hot and fresh directly in your mailbox.